Bearing the pain of the other person’s injustice seems so difficult to me. Have you ever encountered a person who could not bear the pain of what happened to them so that they could not forgive well?

Yes, I have met many people who do not even think of bearing the pain of what happened to them. When that pain persists, too often I see that they either take that pain out on themselves (neglecting good health habits, for example) or they displace their pain onto other people, trying to make those other people miserable. These ultimately are self-defeating ways. For those who truly want to forgive, who are patient and persevere in their forgiving, I have not seen anyone who was overcome by the pain and was unable to bear it, at least to some degree. We do not have to bear the pain perfectly or be rid of the pain entirely to find thriving and joy in this life. We can learn to live with some pain, knowing that by forgiving we have diminished that pain to a manageable level. It is here that we have triumphed over the pain.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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