On Bearing the Pain

One of the paradoxes of forgiveness is that as we give mercy to those who showed no mercy to us, we are doing moral good. Another paradox is this: As we bear the pain of the injustice, that pain does not crush us but instead strengthens us and helps us to heal emotionally.

When we bear the pain of what happened to us, we are not absorbing depression or anger or anxiety. Instead we realize that we have been treated unfairly—-it did happen. We do not run from that and we do not try to hurriedly cast off the emotional pain that is now ours. We quietly live with that pain so that we do not toss it back to the one who hurt us (because we are having mercy on that person). We live with that pain so that we do not displace the anger onto others who were not even part of the injustice (our children or co-workers, for example).

When we bear the pain we begin to see that we are strong, stronger actually than the offense and original pain. We can stand with the pain and in so doing become conduits of good for others.

Today, let us acknowledge our pain and practice a paradox: Let us quietly bear that pain and then watch it lift.


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Categories: Counseling, Our Forgiveness Blog


  1. Nadine says:

    This shows me that forgiveness is not for the weak. To be able to do this shows me the strength of the human spirit. I think this is very difficult without God’s help.

  2. Samantha says:

    Bearing the pain is an important crossroads to developing greater strength and vitality. It shows the one who bears it that this pain will not have its way. It is the start of recovery and health.

  3. Brian says:

    Some people might misunderstand and think that you asking people to seek pain. I don’t think that is your intent, but instead to show us how to handle the pain once injustice comes. To bear the pain is an extraordinary gift to the offending one and to our families because we do not let our anger get all over other people.

  4. Chris says:

    But doesn’t bearing the pain let the other person think that you are just letting it go? Don’t you have to bear the pain and speak up to be sure you are not misunderstood?

  5. Samantha says:

    Chris, to bear the pain does not mean that one does this in silence. As you bear the pain, how you ask for justice and what you ask in the name of justice will be morally good because you are not all bent out of shape with anger.


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