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How To Forgive The One You Love From Broken Promises

by | Nov 2, 2018

Reading Time: 7 minutes

What happens when God asks you to do HARD things? Things that feel insurmountable, like forgiving the one you love when they break their promises? How do you put a 100% of your trust in God when you’re doubled over with the pain of past hurts and paralyzed with fear of what the future holds?

Is there even going to be a future where this relationship is concerned? Is it even possible to let go of the offenses and let God have His way in both your heart and in the relationship?

These questions are really tough when you’re dealing with deep hurts caused by broken promises. And the closer the relationship, the deeper the wound goes.

It can feel as if you’re stuck at a crossroads; not knowing if you should forgive and move on. Or if you’re even capable of it??

It can feel as if you’re stuck in a double bind: damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

As I have been processing my own deep hurts – it’s helped me to dig deep into understanding what it really means to forgive and then take my misplaced trust and put it back into God alone. He’s the only one who has the capability to make things right. Ps. 144:1 in the Passion translation, it says,

“There is only one strong, safe, and secure place for me; it’s in God alone and I love him!

Yes, in healthy relationships we do “trust” each other. But only to the degree that we understand we are all unreliable at times. Sadly, even those of us who are hurt, we too will get it wrong at some point on some level.

For we have ALL sinned; and we have ALL fallen short of God’s glorious standard. Romans 3:23 NLT.

I am not at all giving license to people breaking trust by not following through with their promises. That is never okay. But if I’m painfully honest with myself, even in the best of relationships, I would be foolish to put the same expectations on another human being that are only meant for God.

We absolutely need to be people of our word! If we’re not, our relationships will suffer and eventually die. But we also have a responsibility to put our trust and exceptions in the right resource – or we suffer from it.

So what are we to do in the mess of our raging emotions? How are we meant to process the pain of our past hurts and deal with the fear of our future?

How Do We Forgive The One We Love From Broken Promises?!

As I’ve been navigating my own hurts – I have sensed God tell me over and over again:

“Forgo your “right” to punish and give your broken heart to Me. Forgive the one you love and let go of their offense. It’s you – you are imprisoning – not the person who has hurt you. It’s your heart that is tangled up in the clutches of offense. I don’t have bondage for you. I have freedom for you. All I ask is that you put your trust in Me and me alone.”

I recently came across Luke 17, which is a challenging passage to swallow.

Luke 17:1 says, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks will come, but woe to him through whom they come!”

The words, “stumbling block” comes from the Greek word skandalon, which means: a stick for bait (of a trap), a snare, a stumbling block, an offense.

In other words, we’re guaranteed to be offended.

Ugh – that’s a bummer! #understatment

But better to be offended than to offend – “woe to the one who offends.”

This passage goes on to give us instructions of what we are to do with the offenses done to us:

“Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

Brother as in: your friend, your sibling, your spouse. Anyone who offends you.

Ugh! That’s HARD!! Unfair in fact! What if I don’t want to forgive?! What if I feel like I can’t?! What if it just feels too insurmountable?!

And SEVEN times in ONE day!! Are you kidding me?!

As I dove more into researching the idea of an offense as a trap, I came across several stories about how hunters and farmers of third world countries have been capturing monkeys for centuries in order to save their crops. Knowing that monkeys are impossible to catch as they live high up in the trees and can run away fast, they use a ‘bait stick’ trap, to lure the monkeys to come to them.

A small hole is cut in a gourd or in the side of a termite mound and food is put inside, such as nuts or a banana. The hole is just big enough for the monkey to fit its hand into, but not big enough to pull its fist out when it’s full of food. As the monkey grabs the food and refuses to let it go, the hunter walks right up to it and kills it.

Harsh – I know!

But, if the monkey would just let go of the food – it could easily pull its hand out and run to freedom. Amazingly, it doesn’t. The monkey in adamant about getting food and inevitably chooses to hold onto it and is killed because of its refusal to let go.

This is exactly how the enemy traps you. Not the “enemy” who offended you – but your real enemy, Satan. (1 Peter 5:8). It’s when we refuse to let go of past hurts and offenses and won’t put our misplaced trust back into God, that we become the one in bondage.

Harsh – I know!!

… I’m living it now, too! 😔

I am quickly learning that if I want to give God room to do what only He can do – I have to let go and put 100% of my trust in Him. We can’t hold onto the offenses of what someone did and at the same time hold onto them as a loved one, expecting God to give us a miracle.

How do we let go of our hurts and run towards our own freedom?

 

This is not an easy question!! It’s a question I too have been contending with. But the One thing I know based on who God is – is that I can trust him with my heart because He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:7)

The more I get to know Him as THE truth – MY truth – the more I can trust HE will set me free. (John 8:32)

I can trust that no matter what, He has plans for me and not to harm me (Jeremiah 29:11).

I can trust that as I give Him my hurts and chose daily to let go of anxiety about what the future holds for this relationship, I can present my requests to Him, and He will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Forgiveness is a choice.

It’s a decision of our free will to let go of offense. It’s the hardest thing we’ll ever do AND the most Christ-like thing we’ll ever do, all at the same time.

We don’t have to be like the monkeys who were trapped by their hunters. We have the power to chose to let go and run free and see what God can do in our hearts and in our relationships.

Jesus asked to be dismissed from the assignment of dying on a cross for people who deserved punishment. He asked God to let that cup pass him by. (Luke 22:42) But, He chose to put His Father’s will above his own and followed through with his promise to die for our sins. Think about where we would be if He didn’t make that choice?

Where will your relationship be if you don’t make that choice?

~~~

As we put our trust in God to heal our hearts and deal justly and fairly with the person who hurt us, He promises to be with us and will protect our heart and mind. He promises us freedom.

If you too are ready to let go of hurts and offenses and run towards your freedom, let’s invite God into the middle of our deepest wounds. Pray this prayer with me,

Dear Jesus, Thank you for forgiving me when I have failed to fulfill my own promises. Both to you and to others. I ask that you give me the strength to follow your example. I chose to lay down the hurts and offenses and be set free in my heart and mind. I chose to put 100% of my trust in you so you have the space to things you’re way, both in this relationship and in the person who hurt me. Thank you for healing my broken heart and my damaged emotions. Help me extend the same grace to the one I love as you have extended your grace to me.

In Jesus name, Amen. 

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Author:  Heather Berg

Author: Heather Berg

Certified Life Coach

My heart is to show people how to get free from defeating thought patterns so they can discover what true freedom really is and be transformed regardless of circumstances.

Wrestling through my own defeating thought patterns as well as navigating through life's many adversities, I'm fully persuaded that unless we confidently know who God REALLY is and who He created us to REALLY be, we'll forever stay stuck.

Let's MOVE forward in true freedom and total transformation because we are created to move!

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