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Archive for the ‘Forgiveness’ Category

Q: I know you’ve often said that we need to forgive those who hurt us, but what if it doesn’t do any good and they just keep hurting you? No matter what I say, this person keeps doing the same hurtful things to me. How much should I put up with? — J.R.

A: I doubt there has ever been a personal relationship in which one party did not hurt the other in some way. Granting someone forgiveness after they have hurt you is a strong way of showing them how much you value your relationship. However, in a healthy relationship, forgiveness should flow both ways and each individual should learn from past transgressions to avoid causing pain in the future. If this person continues to hurt you, your relationship is not a healthy one. You need not continue to forgive his or her actions. I would urge you to recommend that this other person seek counseling and to limit your interactions until you see that they are honestly trying to change their behavior.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Seeking Forgiveness

Q: My husband and I went through a rough time in our marriage several years ago, and although things are much better now, he still won’t forgive me for my actions during those months. How can I persuade him that it’s all behind me and I truly love him? It’s like a dark cloud. — W.W.

A: Trust in a marriage (or any relationship) is very difficult to regain once it is lost. However, trust between two people is one of the most important aspects of a successful marriage. It is possible that your husband will never be able to forgive you or trust you again. Since your marriage appears to be stable now, I would suggest having a frank discussion about what you both want out of your marriage in the future and what you can each contribute. If you feel that forgiveness and trust are important, tell him. If he loves you and wants your marriage to continue and to be happy, he should be able to articulate what will lead him to forgive you. It may just take time. If you cannot reach an agreement that you think will ultimately result in his forgiveness and a re-earning of his trust, you may want to consider a divorce, so that you each have the opportunity to establish new, healthy, loving relationships. I would highly encourage you and your husband to seek out a certified marriage counselor to assist you in working through this process.

Billy Graham’s answer.

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Guilt Trip

Q: I truly believe God has forgiven me for some bad things I did when I was younger, but I can’t forgive myself. I hurt a lot of people by my actions, and nothing can erase that. I’ll always feel guilty for the harm I caused. — J. McK.

A: The act of forgiveness (for others or yourself) is a very personal matter. You may want to consider going out of your way to help others in need. This may help you feel better about yourself so that you can forgive yourself in time.

I usually don’t do this, but I need to comment on Billy Graham’s answer to this question. He writes:

You offended them both, of course — but the truth is, you offended God far more than you offended those people.

What utter, complete bullshit! Christianity has so much power now because of the fear and guilt it’s instilled in its followers for the last 2,000 years. This is just another example of that. The people McK hurt were real and her actions had real consequences. On the other hand, there is no evidence that supports the existence of the Christian god or any other(s). These imaginary gods are only used to wield tyranny and power.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Forgive Husband?

Q: Recently, you’ve written some columns on forgiveness, but how can you forgive someone who’s no longer alive? After my husband passed away last year, I found out he’d been unfaithful to me and had even fathered a child, and I’m having a very hard time dealing with this. I know I should forgive him, but how can I since he’s no longer alive? — C.S.

A: I’m sorry that you find yourself in this situation. In this case, if you choose to forgive your husband, it would be entirely for your own benefit. If you feel that forgiving your late husband could be a way for you to deal with your own emotions, then consider doing so. However, you are under no obligation to forgive him.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness

Q: I know we’re supposed to forgive those who’ve hurt us, but sometimes it’s really hard. Right now, I’m going through a very painful divorce, and I don’t see how God expects me to have a forgiving spirit. Why bother anyway? — K.D.

A: Forgiveness can be very difficult, especially when you’ve felt much emotional pain. This will be a very personal decision and should be based on what is best for you and your life. At some point, giving forgiveness to this person may help you emotionally, but you should know that you are not obligated to give it.

Billy Graham’s answer.

Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.

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