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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Understanding Why Forgiveness is So Misunderstood

Biology and physiology, experience, culture, and beliefs, in the way that they differ from one person to another, produce within each person unique perspectives, such that even brothers and sisters, parents and children, very often do not and cannot see eye to eye.
We all see things differently.
The reason we find it so hard to forgive people is we misunderstand, by underestimation, how much people see differently to us. They saw the events that took place differently, i.e. from their own perspective, and they now see the relationship differently. They see us as the problem, just as we see them being the problem.
No wonder we wrestle
for months or years,
never seeming to get
anywhere in reconciliation.
If we can acknowledge those we’re in conflict with see differently, and trust God enough to know that what they see is their truth, we can understand how the conflict developed and ensues — for them. Then, as our understanding develops, not only are we able to forgive, our sense of understanding can translate into peaceable love, which permeates the relationship, and our forgiveness can influence theirs — in time.
Seeing is understanding.
Understanding that they see differently helps us understand we see differently. Different viewpoints create misunderstanding, and it is likely that both of us see ‘truths’ the other cannot see. It can help a great deal to know they could be just as, if not more, frustrated as we are.
So, whilst we may try to forgive, we may fail because of what we misunderstand: they see differently compared with how we do, which explains the impasse and how the impasse developed in the first place.
Understanding misunderstanding is going back
and investigating the cause — from both viewpoints.
Where we cannot see, there’s scant empathy, intimacy’s scarce, and commitment dries up. And when commitment fails, so does the relationship, because forgiveness depends on commitment. If we challenge our vision to see differently, then empathy, intimacy, and commitment are restored, and forgiveness is possible.
May God truly bless you as you open the eyes of your heart to see differently,
Steve Wickham.

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