Forgiveness Is Not The Same Thing as Pretending That There’s Nothing to Forgive

 

Some of us are born in unfortunate circumstance and are even forced to be in abusive and harmful environments. I have a friend who was abused by a family member and was forced to be raised in a home that was extremely problematic and harmful.

As this friend grew up and was seeking to improve and move passed their harmful past they struggled with the concept of forgiveness. Did this mean that because this person and their family were extremely harmed by a certain individual, that they would need to simply need to allow this person back into their life and to pretend that it never happened?

This is an extremely difficult situation and we all need to be extremely careful and kind when we are discussing these types of issues. I believe that Sister Okazaki provides some great advice and thoughts about this issue.

She said “Forgiveness is not the same thing as pretending that there’s nothing to forgive. Great wrongs inspire deep indignation. It does no good to pretend that we are not angry when injustice, cruelty, or sheer stupidity destroys peace and happiness in our families and communities. We should not pretend that something doesn’t matter or didn’t hurt us when it does matter and it did hurt.
But we also need to remember that forgiveness is one of the blessings that lies within God’s gifts. . . . All of us must learn how to forgive the wrongs that are inflicted on us. Our Savior will give us the means of fulfilling this commandment if we struggle to do our part.”

-Chieko N. Okazaki, Lighten Up, pp. 60-61

 

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