Answers

By   •   June 15, 2005

Q:

I know we should forgive people, but I can't ever forgive my father for what he did to us: physical and emotional abuse, leaving my mother penniless after being repeatedly unfaithful, you name it. He was an evil man, so why should I forgive him? I don't know where he is anyway.


A:

What your father did was very, very wrong, and he has clearly caused you much pain in life. Nor has your pain left you, as your letter makes clear; you still hurt inside because of his wrongdoing.

That’s why the real issue you face is this: How will you get over these hurts from your past? You see, your father’s sin has produced a tragic harvest of anger and bitterness in your soul, and they’re like a poison that will only make you miserable if you don’t get rid of them. Not only will it prevent you from being happy, but it also will harm your relationships. The Bible warns, “See to it … that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Hebrews 12:15).

It isn’t easy to get over the pain of what others did to us, particularly when we were young. But listen: God doesn’t want you to be enslaved by the past! He loves you, and (unlike your earthly father) He wants to help you and bring healing to your heart and mind and soul.

Begin life again by turning to Christ and committing your life–including your hurts–to Him. Then ask Him to help you forgive your father in your heart. No, he doesn’t deserve it–but then we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, either. Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it will help bring healing to your soul.

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