In Others’ Words: And Forgive Us Our Brokenness

brokenness and forgivenness 2015

I find myself embracing brokenness more and more. 

My brokenness.

Others’ brokenness.

And I also find myself grasping to understand forgiveness … truly comprehend forgiving others. Forgiving myself. 

The ironic thing is that for so long I aimed for perfection. And I failed. No surprise there, I know.

And I thought forgiveness was as easy as hearing someone say “I’m sorry” and saying, “I forgive you.”

And yet, I found myself confronting unforgiveness … bitterness … time and again.

Reality is … brokenness is the way of folks. And in our brokenness, we harm each other.

But forgiveness? True, life-changing forgiveness is not the way of folks.

Forgiveness is the way of God.

One day I grappled with someone who had wounded me over and over again by his words. His actions. I finally hit my knees beside my bed and told God, flat out, “I can’t forgive him.”

You know what God said?

“I know you can’t. But I can.”

That man who had hurt me? He was broken. And me? I was too broken to forgive him.

But I took my brokenness to God and I asked him to show me how. One thing I learned? Forgiveness isn’t always a one-time and done act. The only way to live peacefully is to forgive everyone constantly.

After all, isn’t constant forgiveness God’s way?

In Your Words: What has God taught you about brokenness? What has God taught you about forgiveness? How would you end this sentence: The only way to live peacefully is to ____________________________________?

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14 Comments

  1. October 13, 2015, 5:12 am   /  Reply

    What a beautiful post, Beth. There have been times I’ve been so hurt, and yet I know I have to forgive. I find it a little easier to forgive a person who has hurt me than a person who has hurt somebody in my family. That’s when I fully lean on the Holy Spirit to help me forgive. And you’re right, I sometimes have to do it again and again.

    • October 13, 2015, 7:00 am   /  Reply

      Jackie: You raise an excellent point — forgiving someone who hurt people we love. That requires a different type of forgiveness — not picking up someone else’s offense.

  2. October 13, 2015, 6:58 am   /  Reply

    Wow! Powerful!

    • October 13, 2015, 7:02 am   /  Reply

      Scoti: This is one of the first quotes I underlined in Glennon Melton’s book, Carry On, Warrior. I think you’d like it.

  3. October 13, 2015, 7:29 am   /  Reply

    The harder I am battered, the more compact and denser (stop laughing!) I become. And the more impervious to breakage.

    I can’t be beaten, and I can’t be broken. Killed, yes, that’s a different issue, and one that is irrelevant. Kill me, and I become immortal. My enemies truly have no power.

    The only way to live peacefully is to fight to win, by all means necessary.

    (I was going to say “…necessary and possible…” but ‘impossible’ is not a word in my vocabulary.)

    • October 13, 2015, 8:33 am   /  Reply

      Now, Andrew, what made you think I was laughing? 😉
      There is a brokenness that leaves us stronger. Would you agree with that?

  4. October 13, 2015, 7:35 am   /  Reply

    On forgiveness…well, that’s God’s department. For awhile I had the job of setting up the meeting.

  5. Gail Hollingsworth
    October 13, 2015, 7:42 am   /  Reply

    The only way to live peacefully is to not hold grudges because none of us is perfect
    I had a hard time forgiving my dad. He was an alcoholic, did terrible things to my mom. Stole something one time while I was with him, me not knowing until we were headed home. Drove me and my brother around in a car while intoxicated. Many more things. In spite of all this I do have some good memories too. He had me when he was only 18, and then lived such a rough life that he had a massive stroke at age 46 and passed away. I later learned of some things that happened to him as a child that possibly shaped him to be the way he was. The last great gift he did give me was to stay sober the whole day of my church wedding and give me away. He died a short 11 months later.

    • October 13, 2015, 8:34 am   /  Reply

      Gail,
      Thank you for sharing some of your life story here.
      And that glimpse of the gift your father gave you? Priceless.

  6. Susan
    October 13, 2015, 8:08 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful, Beth. Just honest and beautiful. Thank you:)

    • October 13, 2015, 8:34 am   /  Reply

      I’m still learning, Susan. Still learning.

  7. Jocelyn
    October 13, 2015, 9:00 am   /  Reply

    This post hit me right in the heart. Like Jackie said, sometimes it’s harder to forgive when its our loved one. My loved one has taken such a wrong road by turning away from God. This time I’ve been broken. I lay the shattered pieces before my Savior and ask Him to help me wade through the mire of emotions. Your post opened my eyes and heart to realize that I’ve not forgiven him. Who am I to not forgive when the Savior of the world forgave me and my sins?
    The only way to live peacefully is to know and accept that in every situation, God will do what is best. If it means breaking me or my loved one, I must turn my face to the SON and let the shadows fall behind me.
    Thank you Beth.

    • October 15, 2015, 7:18 am   /  Reply

      Jocelyn,
      I so appreciate you honest … and I am so sorry that you’ve been so hurt by a loved one.
      Forgiveness is a process, one choice after another. And for me, the first choice is always to say to God, “I want to be a forgiving person.”
      You’ve made that choice.

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