Unforgiveness…

Unforgiveness… March 28, 2017

livingliminalby Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal

Every now and then, I have one of those moments which expose the utter bankruptcy of my previous religious experience. Today, a dear friend helped to expose another one.

You see, I have been told whenever I’ve protested abuse and injustice at the hands of the religious that I’m just “bitter and unforgiving”.

And yet, these same people who accuse me, also claim that they have done nothing wrong.
But as my friend challenged, how can forgiveness be needed – or indeed, extended – when there has been no wrong-doing?

What would there be to forgive?

So to all those people who have denied any wrong-doing towards me, and have then accused me of unforgiveness, I say this:

You cannot have your cake, and eat it too.

Either you have wronged me, and you feel justified in your claim of unforgiveness on my part;

or

you have done nothing wrong, and therefore to claim unforgiveness on my part is a nonsense.

But you can’t have it both ways.

So if you want to accuse me of being unforgiving – which means there is something you have done that requires my forgiveness – please own it, and let’s deal with the crap that lies between us.

I’ve always advocated that path.

Otherwise your accusations against me are, at best, meaningless.

moreRead more by Living Liminal:

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Living Liminal lives in Australia with her husband and three sons, and she is learning to thrive in the liminal space her life has become. She writes at Living Liminal. 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • KarenOfRocks

    Excellent point. As a non-Christian, I would also insist, even after owning up to the fact that they need forgiveness, that they must earn it. To insist that every “well, I guess I screwed up, and I’m sorry” should be met with instant forgiveness might be a prerogative of God’s, but it is not a prerogative of fellow humans. The spiritual aspects of your unforgiveness are between you and your deity, and should not be anyone else’s to dictate.

    So how does a person earn forgiveness? Depends on the person and the circumstances. I find I can forgive transgressions much more easily when someone truly demonstrates that they’re sorry. Maybe there’s nothing they can do to make things right with me personally, but if they see they screwed up and decide to try to avoid making that error again, that goes a long way for me.

    I also think that the Biblical injunction for forgiveness is under everyday circumstances a good idea, to a certain extent. You can collect a lot of mental baggage unless you let go of a lot of everyday hurts and annoyances. Making someone’s life hell in a church community does not qualify as everyday hurts and annoyances, not by a long shot. Forgiveness, given automatically for such great injury, actually inhibits the spiritual growth of the offenders. That is itself an injury of a sort.

  • Lokis_Child

    “Maybe there’s nothing they can do to make things right with me personally, but if they see they screwed up and decide to try to avoid making that error again, that goes a long way for me.”

    In 12 step work, that’s called a living amends.

  • bekabot

    Either you have wronged me, and you feel justified in your claim of unforgiveness on my part;

    or

    you have done nothing wrong, and therefore to claim unforgiveness on my part is a nonsense.

    But you can’t have it both ways.

    Man, do I love logic. Huzzah!!!

  • Plain English

    Christianity is designed to harm and to especially harm the innocent. When we manage to escape the punishment, Christianity continues to harm and to try to correct our ‘lack’ as they see it. Forgiveness is a by-product and not a requirement in being fully human. If you want to be diminished and hate yourself, toss all your feelings away and call it God working in you.
    it is very important to honor inner feelings and not to abandon them as the church demands. The church delights in harming and calls it God’s love.

  • Delilah Hart

    Brilliant!