Thursday, January 9, 2014

The process of forgiveness 18

What if, after you've forgiven the person, another incident happens, you learn something new or something else comes to mind for which the person needs to be forgiven? This is a fairly common occurrance, especially if the person is still a part of your life.

You will probably find you are not as angry or hurt as you would have been in the past. You can start with where you have already gotten in the process. You already have thought through what you had expected of the person, the things the person did, how those things hurt you or others. And because you have already come to a place of forgiveness, you have given these previous behaviors and the person to God. You already have a new perspective on the person and are able to pray for them. You are in a different place, a place of forgiveness.

Most likely the new act or the thing you have remembered that needs forgiveness now will be similar to what you've already worked through. You can rest in what you learned through your earlier forgiveness. Take the new problem back to God and sit with him, then see it in light of what you have previously forgiven and accept any new insights God shows you (as in step 4). You may need to consider changing how your forgiveness will work itself out in your life (step 5) or modify what your continued forgiveness will look like for this person (step 6).

Remember that when people have shown you who they are, you should not be surprised when they act that way. Their new actions can cause you to feel sad or disappointed, of course, but you should not be surprised. And you can offer forgiveness again.

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