How do I replace anger with forgiveness? How about when certain family members know when to say something they know gets under your skin (something you’re trying to put behind you). Some people advised me to just think “they aren’t doing it to you, their just doing it”. I don’t like that advice at all because it totally disregards one’s ability to discern the behavior of another. Though there are times I may not be accurate, there are times my ability to discern is. I don’t like pretending a direct insult didn’t happen when it really did. I think most of us have the ability to know when that truly happens, after all, we are not always incapable of knowing. There has got to be a better way to forgive those who know how to rub you the wrong way most. I don’t want to pretend. I would like your help in the True way of prudence and reconcilation so I can gain the inner peace of Christ during such opportunities.
You don’t say what relationship this is in or what type of comments are being made, so it’s hard to know exactly. But, in general, 1 Corinthians 13:5 covers this: “(Love) is not provokes, does not take into a account a wrong suffered,…”
You are not pretending if you deal with it in your own mind and then decide to forgive the offense and let it go. If you think it is warranted, say to the person “When you say this, it makes me feel (insert a kind, gentle truth here.) I have a hard time with it, but I love you and can forgive you.” Something like that.
Make sure you understand WHY the person is saying what they’re saying. Perhaps they are trying to make you understand something that has a basis in reality. Maybe they’re just pushing your buttons or being nasty. Perhaps they are hurt and trying to make you feel what they feel. Try sincerely to discern what’s happening, with humility.
I hope that helps.
Unless you are blessed with the rare gift of reading hearts (as was St. Pio), you can not know for certain what the motivation is behind words.
Perhaps that is WHY Scripture tells us to bear wrongs patiently.
*The next time a family member does this…in a calm but **firm *manner tell them the truth…
*"I am trying to put this behind me…their name…and I would appreciate it very much if you did not bring it up again. *
My two :twocents: worth.
This may sound like a cynical non-christian answer but I believe it may work.
When you say “when certain family members know when to say something they know gets under your skin (something you’re trying to put behind you).”
I would ask him why he (or she) says that? It sounds like they’re saying it on purpose. I would ask them in front of witnesses why they are intentionally trying to bring something up that you have put behind you. Let them know you have put that subject in the past and let them know (again, in front of witnesses) that any further inquiries will only validate how mean and vindictive this person is trying to be. You would appreciate it if the subject was not broached again. If they were “unaware” it is a subject you would rather forget, they’ll apologize and you can both move forward. However, if they are being malicious and continue, you can point out that you’ve made attempts to put the subject in the past and since this other person cannot refrain from bringing up this sore subject, you will not interact with them anymore.
Forgiving them is not the issue. Getting them to cease the teasing is first and foremost.
You know, there’s nothing wrong or unChristian like in telling someone…‘I really don’t appreciate those comments anymore. I would appreciate if you didn’t say those things to me…I am past ‘that’ now (whatever that is) and just really don’t care for you saying those things.’ If the person says…‘I’m just joking around.’ (which is often a common come back for people who insult others) I would say…‘I’m not laughing though.’ I remember my sister teasing me about things I did when I was a teenager…and finally one day…(after having two kids–I’m a grown woman by this point)…I said…‘I really don’t think it’s necessary to bring that stuff up anymore…I was a kid. Do you want me to bring up all the dumb things you’ve done?’ (granted my remark was a bit more confrontational) But, it stopped.
You don’t have to put up with anyone insulting you, or saying things in ‘joking’ ways, if it truly bothers you. I would say my piece, and be done with it. I think meeting something head on, is the best thing. Pray for people who do these things to…pray that your relationship will get better. I wish you good luck!
Christ did not always have inner peace. Remember he was hurt by those he loved, abandoned. He felt anxiety and anguish.
It seems from your post, that you are looking for a way to better control your feelings. You are hoping that you will not feel pain and hurt when people say mean things to you. I suggest that you do not try and make this a goal of yours since it is very difficult if not impossible.
Instead, when the pain comes…try and turn it into a prayer. When someone says something hurtful, go ahead and give them a gentle reminder that it hurts…then turn your pain into a prayer and offer it to Jesus. Try and say something like “Dear Jesus I am hurting right now because of the thoughtless words of another. Let this be a reminder to me of the hurt you felt when people lied about you, when they spit on you and when you were abandoned by those you loved. Please take my hurt feelings and pain and accept them as my prayer to you for atonement for my sins and also as prayer to help this person who just hurt me so badly.”
This may be hard to do at first. Our initial reaction to unavoidable emotional pain is to try and find a way out. I am not suggesting that you seek out these people that hurt you, but when it is unavoidable to encounter them and their comments…turn and pray for them with your pain, just as Jesus prayed for his tormentors on the cross.
Hope this helps, take care and God bless.
It might be a good idea to get over insults. You have no obligation to avenge them. You need to defend yourself from attacks and you may need to react to insults in order to prevent future ones, but this doesn’t mean you have to fish out and avenge every insult someone makes. If it’s not intentional, you don’t need to care and if it is… it’s partly up to you how much you allow it to affect you.
The problem is, I have some regrets that hurt this individual in an indirect way. I really think they ponder on it every now and again, giving less respect to me as they would other family members. I believe they set up an image of me over these regrets that they cannot put behind them. No matter what improvements I have made over the years in my ability to speak with prudence, they can’t get over a few instances years ago (the times I spoke first and thought later). As a result, I begin to ponder over these little instances done to me more frequently. I can honestly admit, I don’t fight fire with fire. I have this nagging attitude though that says “others are supposed to forgive”. IF they don’t know how or, they aren’t at a level where forgiveness is easy for them (like me in this situation) what should I do? This whole matter really has to do more with their hurt on how I used to openly (often without prudence) speak my beliefs that offended them. I really think they aren’t trying to be vindictive as much as these reoccuring thoughts hurt them and they cannot forgive well. How do I forgive those who cannot forgive well? What should I do?
Without more specific examples (and it is understandable if you don’t want to go into more detail) it is hard to give advice regarding what to do. It is very possible that the opinions and beliefs you expressed simply was you standing up for the faith, and unless you were blantant in uncharity you need not have anything to seek forgiveness for. It could just be chalked up to persecution or normal family squabbles; it might be more serious or abusive; it is hard to tell so far.
However, I do want you to read the following scripture passages (you may link online: usccb.org/nab/bible/index.htm ):
Also see the following threads:
I think your desire to “forgive” them is misplaced. (no offense) I believe this situation has not developed to a position where forgiveness has come into play from your side. For you to forgive this others’ actions, then they have to stop their actions. Herein lies the real issue. Once they stop then the healing and forgiveness can begin.
These thoughts are only my opinion based on the information put forward. I am not offering professional advice nor do I claim to be a professional counselor.
Quite honestly, there are certain people in my life that I have just made a decision that they are congenital idiots, despite their outward appearance of normality.
When they say rude things, I put those comments into the same mental box that I put the outbursts of mentally retarded people and drunkards, and then I think nothing more of it.
precisely because they are weak and cannot currently help what they do
BALONEY! Unless they’re total retards, they most certainly can help what they do! What you are describing is not forgiveness, but enablement.
Have you had a chance to look over the scripture passages I posted? I think you should, because it could clear up a few misconceptions that some people erroneously build up as the “Chrstian way”.
To jmcrae and Norseman82
I noticed in both your posts something that bothered me. “outbursts of mentally retarded people and drunkards” and “total retards” were the phrases used.
Please know that these phrases are to some of us very unkind. I am the mother of a beautiful girl with Down syndrome. My daughter has mild mental retardation.
I am not trying to give you a politically correct lecture…just a gentle reminder. This is a faith-based website and although I have had to put up with this kind of language in the public sector, I had hoped not to encounter it from my wonderful Catholic friends. I beleive that neither of you meant it in a mean or nasty way, just hoping you will try your best not to use this language if you can. Thank you for understanding.
God bless you.
My apologies for the use of the term “retard”. But my general point remains: the aforementioned people can indeed help what they do.
The use of the term “drunkard” is not out of line, though; it is used in the Bible.
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful apology, it really means a lot…especially when I know there was no intention to offend in the first place. God bless you.
I also know that people can help what they do…but it is sometimes helpful (in my opinion) to approach them with sympathy instead of anger. It is natural to get irritated with someone who is committing sins, but really if you try and concentrate on the fact that they are being deceived by Satan and destroying their own souls…it may be easier to feel sympathy.
Feeling sympathy for the “evil” people in my life instead of anger was much more spiritually freeing for me and (seems to me anyway) more like Christ would be. Hard to do sometimes though I will admit!
a book that i am reading for Lent might be helpful for you. it is by Fulton Sheen, entitled The Cross and The Beatitudes: Lessons on Love and Forgiveness. it has been a tremendous help to me, and I’m only on lesson 2!