Forgiveness is something sought; asked for.
You told me it was something I had to give regardless of whether or not the offender wanted it, or believed they even needed it. It set up a system in which perpetrators could endlessly do harm, and victims were shamed for feeling hurt, wounded, or pain. The victim was at fault for not being Jesus enough to let it go and forgive. This sick view you called Biblical.
I’ve learned over the years that I don’t have to forgive those who neither want it, or believe they need it. My responsibility is to set boundaries; to keep the sick and harmful far from me. I don’t need to be angry. I don’t need to hate. Simply place it in the Lord’s hands; let God have it.
I believe this is what it looks like to love others as I love myself because loving others as I love myself implies that I love myself. To love myself means that I respect myself, that I care for myself, that I protect myself.
You failed to teach this, and I don’t know if it was intentionally or not. We spent much time learning how we were horrible people; it was ours to deny ourselves, kill ourselves, destroy ourselves. While this is partially correct, it was correct only in part.
We ought make war with the harmful, hateful, wicked, and cruel parts of ourselves. We ought strive, daily, to be better people -striving to live as Christ. And I sit here and wonder how you, man of God, proclaimer of the Word, pastor, you who teaches people from the very words of God missed this.
I thank God for his mercy; for the 12 painful years tossed about by this raging sea, for through this terrifying journey he has revealed himself to me. He has shown me love and forgiveness. He has taught me much of love and forgiveness.
I am blessed to proclaim that anger and hate for you has no place in my heart. And without guilt I can say: I don’t forgive you. You neither want it, nor believe you require it; so may it be. But, know also, you don’t have a hold on me.
Your wicked philosophies are as smoke, and I allow them no place here.
I do pray for you, as I ought pray for my enemies. Pray that the Lord would reveal himself to you; that your eyes be open and for the first time you might see him high and lifted up.