T.D. Jakes: It's time to forgive
He's the pastor of one of the biggest churches in America. He says it's time to "Let It Go" so that you and I can be forgiven
“Most people find it difficult to forgive themselves. I notice that people who were well-nurtured and experienced forgiveness at an early age, they have an easier path to forgiving.”
But how can we forgive those who have done terrible things – such as the murdering of hundreds of thousands of people in Rwanda or Bosnia or Sudan? What about Hitler’s holocaust?
“You can only forgive those kinds of atrocities when you understand that the person who perpetrated them had to be sick. No normal person would commit such acts. If you are seeking a place of forgiveness, it begins with understanding. It’s difficult to hate and
understand at the same time. It helps you find that place in your heart that often hides itself from human view.”
What about the unrepentant offender who continues to hurt you and even throw it in your face?
“Think of Jesus on the cross, praying ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,’” answers Jakes. “Notice the fact that he’s praying for their forgiveness – for people who are crucifying Him and not asking for forgiveness.
“There are people who are in abusive situations right now and in harm’s way – domestic violence, sexual abuse and what have you. So, I’m not saying to stay in danger. Justice and forgiveness can co-habitate. Forgiveness does not have to compromise justice.”
What if the person refuses to accept your forgiveness?
“Well, that is on them,” answers Jakes. “That’s their responsibility. You don’t have to give an account for somebody else’s attitude or the choices that they make. This is about you.
“Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself. It has less to do with what somebody else did as much as it does with your decision to move on with your life and not be continually victimized by rehearsing that issue or incident over and over again."