“Hate the evil, love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:15 KJV
Forgiveness remains one of the most misunderstood of psychological dynamics, not just for clients but also for some therapists. This course presents some different conceptualizations of hatred
and misunderstandings (e.g., forgiveness is forgetting) that prevent people from being able to love. When the Bible speaks of God hating someone, it means He has chosen not to favor them; it is a solemn covenant action. For us, hatred is a relatively stable feeling of intense dislike for another person, entity, or group. Hatred is distinct from short-lived feelings such as anger and disgust. While some forms of animosity may only manifest briefly and mildly, hatred is a form of active, ongoing hostility that often uses up significant emotional energy. When someone feels hatred for another person, they often spend much of their time fixating on their anger, contempt, or dislike of the other person. Hatred weakens you, while forgiveness strengthens you. Hence, these intense feelings should not linger; therefore, Christian counseling can aid you in complete healing.
Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from wrestling with feelings of hate that we have for others or that they have for us. We must prepare to show love, nonetheless. This is not only what Jesus taught us, it’s what He lived out when He died for us while we were yet His enemies. Isn’t it interesting that God needs to tell us to “hate evil “? We must be reminded that accepting hatred is harmful to our bodies; however, love is fuel for the soul. Hatred keeps some stagnant and maintains a victim’s mentality.
When you forgive someone, you often don’t perceive the need to discuss or process the situation further. Consider a situation in which you have truly forgiven someone. How often do you need
to discuss this incident with them or with yourself? It tends to be rare. In fact, one common sign that you have actually not forgiven someone is your need to continue to discuss the incident(s).
As a result, forgiveness often carries an expectation of ourselves and of others that there won’t be a need for much discussion about the topic going forward and may instill a false sense of
reconciliation or closure. Trauma survivors need to be able to disclose and share their trauma narratives as often as needed, as this is a vital part of recovery. When we are pressured to forgive, we may feel as though we need not or should not continue to share or explore our narrative, which inhibits our ability to process and recover. Furthermore, forgiveness can inhibit survivors’ ability or willingness to report perpetrators since seeking judicial accountability, vindication, or punishment is often seen as contrary to the “spirit” of forgiveness.
So, moving beyond being a victim of others’ actions and discovering the freedom that is yours in choosing therapeutic forgiveness is a conscience decision that must be made. Sometimes, the assistance of a therapist is needed to serve as a guide. Services such as NuWell Counseling Services can help you regain wellness. NuWell Counseling Services wants to help you to put yourself back in control, transcend the most hurtful of circumstances, and make the healing choice of love over hatred!