'Forgiving' things not done to you

I find myself angry at someone who has, to my mind, caused harm to and mistreated someone dear to me. Does this fall in the category of ‘forgiveness?’ I always think of forgiveness as something the actual victim of the harm does, something between the victim and perpetrator. It’s always seemed a little odd to me for someone to stand up and ‘forgive’ a person for an action that had nothing to do with the ‘forgiver.’ It seems presumptuous, as if it just dismisses the person actually affected by the behavior, with a ‘never mind him, I forgive you,’ sort of attitude.

Is there a different word or concept for dealing with my own dislike of this person, while acknowledging that ‘forgiveness’ is between the two of them? Or am I also called to forgiveness in some sense in this case?

I have a (nonCatholic) friend whose brother was murdered in a “Developing Nation” by thugs who will never be known, let alone apprehended.

My friend was invited to attend an interdenominational “forgiveness” service, to speak about forgiveness. I don’t know if he ever went, but he did express his thoughts on it: “They want me to talk about forgiveness. I don’t forgive anybody for what happened. How can I forgive someone if I don’t even know who did it?”

On the other hand, the outpouring of forgiveness from the victims’ families in the aftermath of the Nickel Mines shooting was tremendously beneficial to the healing of everyone involved.

When Jesus cleared the Temple of money changers, I think he was standing up for the poor and oppressed, whom the money changers were exploiting.

But on the cross, Jesus prayed forgive them Father, was he including these money changers in his plea?

If we see injustice happen, should we intervene, or do we turn a blind eye?

some thoughts to ponder on

All wrongdoings are against God.

When a wrong is made, it’s like a stone thrown into water. The water is disrupted and will send multiple waves in every direction. So too is wrongdoings we make against each other. The wrongdoing will severly hurt against the person/people it comes in contact with and will ripple throughout their family, friends, and community. Yes, we need to learn proper forgivness that allows us to uphold the dignity, justice, and mercy of all humans damaged by the ripples of bad actions (what we do and what we fail to do)

It’s not a question of intervening. In this particular instance, there’s absolutely nothing I can do, most likely. To say anything will only make the ‘victim’ on whose behalf I’m not too pleased with the perpetrator, defensive. I have no power or authority to change things. It just is hard to see it happening. It’s a situation of what I would call an emotionally abusive and neglectful spouse.

Then I ‘forgive’ the person who is being hurtful, disrespectful, and neglectful, even though none of it is being done to me? Maybe part of what I’m trying to get at in my thinking process is: Is forgiveness even the right word? Or should I be talking about some other virtue for which I ought to be striving in regards to this person? Eliminating anger? Fighting the tendency to let the dislike slide close to hatred?

Eliminating anger? Fighting the tendency to let the dislike slide close to hatred?

People stay in abusive relationships, and I struggle to understand why? Possibly, the most you can do is remain a friend of the victim, listen and offer support, if you are able to.

Anger burns away inside you, it is knowing injustice happens, and feeling powerless to do anything, it keeps you up at night thinking about; what you would like to see happen.

A Buddhist saying is; ‘anger is like picking up a burning coal; with the intention of throwing it at the person who angers you.’ The person who gets burned the most is yourself; often you hang onto this burning coal for months and years, and the hotter it becomes.

The person who angers you, controls you, they make you do, or want to do things you would rather not do.

The prayer for peace and serenity is profound

Lord grant me the peace and serenity to live with the things I cannot change.
Give me the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.



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