Forgiveness Isn't for Others
Updated: Apr 2, 2022
Let’s talk about navigating pain caused by others.
Let’s talk about navigating pain caused by others.
The parable of the Wheat and Tares answers the question of why the Lord doesn’t always seem to do something about the wickedness in the world. Tares are a weed that looks like wheat as it’s growing, and as the roots of it grow, they grow intertwined with the wheat’s roots. A good ‘ole visual and the coexistence of good and bad. Both are to grow together until the harvest which is the end of the world. A servant eager to pull up weeds but were told that in so doing they would root out the wheat as well. Which also means that God is very much aware, and all things are done in great purpose and reason. One of which shown above. Another which, we’ve learned in other lessons and promises from God—the chance given to all to change.
Saying nay, to pulling out the bad is the same response as the laborer in the vineyard in the Book of Mormon, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard. What he offers us, He offers to everyone, the ability to be changed from Him who is always there. He will not rob anyone the chance and the time to turn around, like in Jacob 5, as the good in people grows, the bad can gradually clear away. Like Mary with many devils was changed and deserving of distinctive honors, like the first witness of the resurrection. Like Peter Himself who led the church after his triple denial. The woman at the well who left and told all she passed and led masses to conversion. The time and chance to change is offered to all, even the wicked.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Surely, benevolence should have a limit. Jesus saith unto him… Until seventy times seven. Obviously, the Savior was not establishing a limit of 490, but articulating the profound truth to not establish limits on forgiveness. There are no limits on repentance. We receive that chance, and so do the tares. And everyone will have that chance until the harvest which is the end of the world.
So, until then, celebrate in our gift of more time and more chances to do better and become better. Allow others to have their gift of more time and more chances. In the season of wheat and tares that we are in, the tares can sometimes be the reasons we hurt, and the reason why we need the lesson from Peter to forgive seventy times seven. It is because we are in a world where we coexist with wheat and tares, but again, strategically so. How do we navigate through it all when we are to coexist with it until the end of the world?
When we feel we have been wronged and we continue to coexist in the hurt and pain of others, we sometimes, however, take the punishment into our own hands. We are told to forgive but forgiving others is so hard when someone has wronged us and hurt us, and we feel they just carry on. It seems painfully unfair that they get to move on when we are stuck with all this caused weight they left us with. There are times we wonder if their punishment will be avoided and if justice will ever be served. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. But—
Sometimes we mistakenly believe that if we forgive, justice will not be served, punishments will be avoided, and they will not be held accountable. We harbor what seems like fully justified feelings of resentment, animosity, and anger to the people who have hurt us. We almost feel we need to hold on to our hurt and pain so we can show them what they did was so terrible. If we are still mad, still hurt, we can prove to them just how wrong what they did was. Right? We can’t forgive because we can’t release the offender, forgiving is condoning or excusing and forgetting, right? But who does that end up hurting more and affecting the most? Us. Resentment or anger we have towards another person does little or no harm to them in the way we would like, but endless effects on us, even down to poor sleep, increased fear, depression, physical pain, and issues with proper cardiac function.
Dwelling can allow the resentment and hostility we hold for that person to take root in us. If we allow negative feelings to crowd out the positive ones, we might become swallowed up by bitterness, overflowing to other aspects and other relationships in our life. Holding on with unforgiveness can make it so we can't enjoy the present, become depressed or anxious or feel that we’re at odds with our spiritual beliefs. We continue to carry a weight that is not meant for us to carry. I still remember a lifted weight I didn’t know I had until I heard Neill F. Marriott say, your resentment diminishes your progress and damages your ability to have healthy relationships.
You can let this go.
Isn’t that beautiful permission backed up by God’s command and role, you can let this go. Forgiveness isn’t for others, it’s for us. To free us, to lift our weight. That pain and hurt and responsibility to take care of the actions of others, we can let that go. That isn’t meant for us to carry. That’s God territory.
Judgement and punishment are meant for God. Passing time on earth is not condoning, forgetting, excusing, man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay. The end of the world will come. Mercy cannot rob justice. For behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind…I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire.
We can take great comfort in knowing that God will compensate us for every injustice we’ve experienced. Leave judgment alone with me, for it is mine and I will repay. But let peace be with you. There is an enormous physical burden to being hurt and disappointed. Peace given to us, is a fruit of what it means to let go, to drop weight, to allow healing to happen. Forgiveness can take away the power the other person continues to wield over us. Forgiveness in no way means tolerance. It is not a connection to be stuck in unhealthy situations or to unhealthy people.
As we release the control and power the offending person and situation in our life, we are able to better grip to that peace He promises us. We may not get the apology we deserve, but forgiveness can come even without reconciliation. In those times, choose to validate your own feelings and give yourself permission to close that chapter and set up boundaries.
Forgiving others is a gift He and we give ourselves. It frees us. It allows us to take our power back. It brings peace to help us go on with life healing and thriving in our emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical health. The energy and emotion we had invested in a certain people or situations is now free to be moved to something that makes us feel filled and move forward on our spiritual path. As we allow forgiveness into our souls we are partnering to bring the Savior’s power into our lives. By embracing forgiveness, we are embracing peace, hope, gratitude, and growth.
God will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. We can celebrate and use our gift of more time and more chances to do better and become better. Knowing that our God is a God of endless forgiveness and endless repentance until the world ends, that also means we have endless healing offered to us as we coexist with tares, and even have seasons with our own personal tares as well. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. … Every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude, (Joseph B. Wirthlin).
We have beautiful permission backed up by God’s command and role to let go, to drop the weight, to be free, to move on and allow His peace to heal and lead and lift.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.