The intimacy that, "Hey, I'm bringing this up not because I haven't forgiven you. When we do have to grant forgiveness, we need to extend it. Giving up that right to get even is something that you have to really think. You could set, as you mentioned, some of those expectations, but you do give up that right. "If I forgive you for that offense, you got away with it.
I have, but I want to process some of the hurt feelings that tend to linger." That's a pretty sophisticated relationship that can do that. I think in close relationships, you underlie something like you have a foundation of trust, you have a foundation of a built history, and there's enough motivation to say, "We are going to make this work. There are a couple of key things that we need to do. I think the first step would be acknowledge our pain and anger. By the way, many of these six steps that were given, one of the ways that we've seen this is from a study that they did with a number of different couples out there. That one was hard because it doesn't mean, by the way, that you can't insist upon being treated better in the future. For me, this is the one that's the hardest for me. You got away with it." I think, for me, my justice meter gets out of whack. " I think that shows that I don't trust that the Holy Spirit's at work and using my forgiveness even to convict the person of sin.
It's this feeling like we are going to make things right by getting even, and even maybe getting ahead.
I remember one time, my wife made us this great comment. I just squirted a little bit of water at her one day. I remember we're out to this cool restaurant and I squirted a little bit of water at her.
I think for a lot of us, we wish that this could just maybe go away. It takes this almost letting go of a grudge requiring me to exercise a moral muscle that can be hard. Then, it's a commitment on my part to not withhold affection towards you, not to punish you indirectly. She said there was a situation that brought up some of these feelings and this person that really hurt her.
Let's just stop thinking about it, and it will get better. What do you say if you had to say, "This is what forgiveness is"? Third, it's actually a commitment to me that I make with myself to say, "When I start to have bad thoughts about Chris, I'm now dealing with that." It becomes my issue. This is something that God is going to help me with." It doesn't mean they go right away, right? This minister friend of hers told her, "You know, it's much like pulling on a bell, one of these large bells.
I think the words that we don't want to give people would be the words, "Oh, it was nothing.
Forget about it" if, in fact, it was something to you.
On the other hand, the way in which you give and extend forgiveness can really shape a relationship. One, I can know how to forgive, but lack the motivation to do it. I think it'd be unfair if I forgave you for this because you've not done your part in acknowledging the hurt.
We always talk about in a marriage, we say, "Let's practice these seven words." All they are is "I'm sorry. Please forgive me." It'd be simple if we could get people just to feel those, mean that, and they could revolutionize a lot of our relationships. He says, "When I counsel couples, I never let them say, ' I'm sorry.'" Just that, because it could be, "Hey, I'm sorry you don't have a sense of humor.