The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “forgive” is one of the following:

a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult>

b : to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>

2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one’s enemies>

I have trouble forgiving instantaneously. I may want to forgive someone for an offense but it might take a while. My forgiveness doesn’t have a switch, it can’t just be turned on or off as the situation warrants. My forgiveness is also just that, MY FORGIVENESS. So, it cannot be given on anyone else’s timetable. My forgiveness will be granted when I am ready.

We learn as children that an offense causes pain. If I punch my brother in the face, I will cause him pain and I will need to earn his forgiveness. As a child, I was also taught that I would have to ask God’s Forgiveness as well for punching my brother in the face.

What I’m trying to illustrate is this: when you offend someone, you cause them injury and therefore, pain. It may not be a shiner like the one I metaphorically gave my brother but it is an injury that caused pain. Like any injury, it will need time to heal. Once the healing is completed or is nearing completion or the great gaping wound has at least got a tourniquet in place, then forgiveness can begin to set in.

Some wounds are bigger than others. My kids lying to me are wounds like the random bruising I can’t figure out the origins of. Some wounds leave giant holes with ragged edges, shrapnel and internal bleeding. (I apologize for channeling Stephanie Meyer a bit but I love her books!)

You can’t judge another’s pain. You can’t judge the size of the wound that you’ve inflicted on another. You can’t see into their bodies, souls, and minds to determine what kind of internal damage your injury to another has caused. Modern science is amazing but it’s not yet found a way to get an MRI on the human soul (because this would prove God).

A person who is injured is also weakened. Therefore, to grant forgiveness, they must become strong again. Healed. Whole. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong,” said Gandhi.

Forgiveness is something that we as Christians, we as Catholics, are called to show the world. We are also called to love and be patient. We must be patient with each other and allow time to heal.

When you want forgiveness from someone for whatever reason, you must be patient and allow that person time to heal their wounds. You may heal quickly and they may not, or vice versa. The point is that it is not YOUR call. That is between the person doing the forgiving here on Earth and God. You cannot force someone to forgive anyone else and it is wrong to try to do so.

We say “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We do not say, “Forgive us our trespasses in 5 minutes, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We do not demand a response time from God and we should not demand a response time from others.

I will forgive those who’ve injured and offended me in my own time. I expect God will do the same within His Time too. If I haven’t forgiven you yet, don’t rush me. Don’t push me. I’ll forgive you just as soon as I am able. I don’t want to be weighed down with the pain you’ve caused me for eternity. However, I have to heal. I have to get my fat butt through physical therapy. Then I’ll decide the best way to address the issue of my forgiveness.

In the meantime, all you and I can do is pray for healing for one another.

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7 thoughts on “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

    1. Oh I didn’t realize it doesn’t have the rest of the story around it…basically the man telling the story is using the water as a metaphor for forgiveness. He is explaining to his little girl that the water of forgiveness was given to all of us by Jesus to give freely to our brothers and sisters even when it is really difficult…Thank you again for posting this Shalimar I’ve really been struggling with some old wounds…I needed to read what you wrote…seems like just for my heart…and remember this parable. Have a beautiful weekend.

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  1. Wow, Krisia, these are some EXCELLENT thoughts…

    I have JUST been learning what you are saying through the school of hard knocks. Just recently, I and my daughter have had some recurring dreams of a family who hurt us from the church we were ‘ousted’ from last year. Of course, so many wonderful things have happened since then and we have had many healings, gained many more friends than before, and are WAY healthier in mind and body and spirit, and are living a much more victorious life now … But… I realized that when that person or persons pop in my mind, forgiveness still takes time, even if it is the best thing since sliced bread that they are out of our life. I can tell my forgiveness isn’t complete, because when I picture them, or see them in my dreams, I have a nauseous feeling in my stomach. I am still left with unresolved issues, was still cruelly denied (by supposed Catholic Christians) the opportunity to resolve those hurts (and wounds, as you say), and they have seemingly moved on without so much as a care in the world that they left someone bleeding profusely almost to the point of despair and loss of faith. I have seen them over the last year on facebook and other groups going on like we never even existed, no matter how much we reached out to them. So sure, we are past all that, and I have employed the ‘delete button’ with joy. (I will write on this in a future article.) But every time I remember them, or innocent people bring up their names, I need to forgive all over again, and make sure I don’t fall into slander or negativity as the perpretators did to us. Sometimes I have read my own leters of forgiveness over again just to remind myself that I have indeed decided to forgive them, even if they are still proud, unrepentant, still doing the same deeds to others, or are cold and uncaring.

    It’s all well and good for people to say ‘just get over it… put them out of your mind.’ But it DOES take time. And I love how you say, we must be WHOLE and HEALED and STRONG to truly forgive. That is what I pray, for STRENGTH and HEALING… and, with God, all things are possible.

    Much love,
    shalimamma

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  2. We are blessed to have your insight Krys… gorgeous and heart felt honesty… I really appreciate your perspective.

    I have noticed that I am quick to forgive offenses done to me on most levels but I work hardest at forgiving myself…..

    I have a short fuse so I catch myself saying things I wish I hadn’t and will beat myself up long after the other person has forgotten (or never took offense LOL)

    The deepest hurts in my life have come from people I have let too close that I shouldn’t have… those took years. There was no hope of reconcilliation, I had to let them go forever, I am finally to the point of not feeling angry over what happened, that was more than a decade ago… there really isn’t a time table on forgiveness is there? Thank you for this….

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  3. I stumbled on your blog on http://lifevictorious.wordpress.
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    1. Parrots,
      I’m so glad that you stumbled on this post! I do have a bit of experience in this area. Thankfully, I’ve had some experiences since I wrote this post that have helped me to grow stronger and do some forgiving.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

      Like

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