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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: June 13, 2015.

A friend told me about a party she and her grandmother attended. The grandmother had been chatting for some time with a relative. Suddenly the elderly lady came up short: “I shouldn’t be talking to her. I’m mad at her!”

“Why, what did she do to you?” asked my friend.

After a long pause, her grandmother admitted, “I can’t remember!”

Like my friend’s grandmother, many of us have a chip on our shoulder from a hurt that has never healed–a tight band around the heart that constricts the flow of love–a caustic acid that eats into a relationship until little is left of what once brought joy.

I wonder why we hold on to hurts. Maybe because we actually enjoy mulling over how right we were and how wrong the other person was. Perhaps the person has never asked for forgiveness, so we reason that we aren’t obligated to forgive until she does.

Usually, though, we hold on to hurts because of pride. “Why should I go to her? It was her fault! If I approach her first, it means I’m admitting I was wrong—and I wasn’t!” Scripture is plain, however, about who should make the first move. Jesus said, “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault.”

You really have nothing to lose—and a lot to gain! First, you may regain a relationship with that person. Jesus said, “If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back” (Matthew 18:15, NLT).   Second, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done what God wants you to do. Third, you may give someone else the courage to follow your example.

That chip on the shoulder–settle it once and for all. If you do, no longer will your conscience remind you of unfinished business.


2 Responses

  1. Ruth

    I am still learning to walk in forgiveness. I usually find it easy to forgive the every day offenses, or when a person asks for forgiveness for something hurtfull they have done. I was able to forgive a relative who sexual abused me. I have been forgiven by Christ, and I do extend that forgiveness to others, and if it becomes difficult, I trust God to help me. The most difficult person for me to forgive is a relative that has actively pursued ways to hurt me emotionally, relationally and materially from the time I was very young, a child, and continues to do so today. This person is a family member, who continues to lie about me and tries to undermine my relationships with others. I believe this person has narcissistic tendencies, and is jealous of me for some reason. This person has admitted to hating me, starting when I was a toddler. I’ve always tried to get their approval, and mend the relationship until recently, as I now finally realize there is nothing I can do to gain a healthy relationship with them. This person has stolen from me and lied about me to others for years. For many years this hurt me deeply, and in my heart of hearts, it still does. I am more of an empath, by nature, and know that God gifted me with a loving heart, so it is hard to understand why a personwould be mean or hateful. Of course I understand that temperments are different, and I understand our sin nature, as well as inner hurts that might cause a person to hate or be jealous. In the past 2 years I have begun to feel such anger and even hate towards this person, realizing the impact they have had on my life, and on many relationships in my life. I choose forgiveness, and am workng on and praying for an ability to forgive in such a way that the pain of this relationship no longer grips me. I am not there yet. The hard part is that it is an active on-going situation (60 years) and I cannot avoid them. This person actualy lives with my elderly parent, and is in relationship with siblings and extended family. I told them that I would be willing to go to counseling together to help resolve things but they refuse. This person says that I am crazy, and that my perspective is wrong. They are very critical of me and others. They do say they hate me, and always have and always will. This person tries to spend time with my grandchildren, and Knowing how manipulative they are, I have a concern that they will try to hurt my relationship with my grandkids. Walking in forgiveness is difficult when a person continues to try to hurt you and dis-credit you in other’s eyes. It’s like it’s their goal to harm you. I just keep asking God to help me forgive, and to detach my tender heart from this situation. The last thing I want is to become a bitter hateful person in response to this treatment.

    • Ruth

      Adding more…Part 2…after reading your writing in forgiveness here again, “having a chip,” I just want to add…I truly am in the habit of searching my heart as David said in Psalms, and asking God to renew a right spirit in me. I do not like discord. i love truth in relationships. I look at a situation to see where 8I may have been wrong or hurtful, and I do ask for forgiveness when I am wrong or if I may have offended another. I’m not perfect in this of course. We all have blind spots. I am not bragging about my willingness to forgive or see my own must be a gift from God, or due to my years of submission to my Lord and Savior. Yet still, I am stuggleing to walk in forgiveness completely within a very difficult ongoing relationship with the person I previously discribed. I actively choose to forgive, and turn them over to God, but still get tripped up emotionally. Everytime I need to see this person, I repeat a prayer of forgiveness, I pray and ask for God to help me show love, without exposing my heart to more abuse, or be a doormat. I ask for a hedge of protection around my heart and mind so that I do not fall into their trap of manipulation or emotional games. I ask for God’s help in keeping healthy boundaries, and not to be “triggered” emotionally. Under normal circumstances I would forgive such a person, but detach from such a difficult abusive type relationship. At this point, I cannot, unless I am willing to detach from my elderly parent, as this person lives with and somewhat controlls my parent. I know I am venting a bit here, so sorry, I guess I needed some support or a place to express this. Thank you.


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