simply-beloved asked: Unka Glen, I feel spiritual warfare, and today it broke loose. I confronted my brother on a grudge I’ve been holding because of what he did to me, and I haven’t forgiven him after all these years. We finally confronted the issue we were both avoiding. It hurts, and he believes I’m a terrible Christian who knows nothing of forgiveness. [edited for length]
Unka Glen answered: If you hurt me, don’t pretend that you’re in a position to judge how I deal with that hurt. If you kick me in my shins, and I let out a curse word, don’t imagine for a second that you get to rebuke my cussing, because Buttercup, that ain’t how grown folks do the math. Not by a mile.
We’re assuming that he confessed his mistakes, without excuse, taking full responsibility, and asked for forgiveness. Because if he hasn’t done that, then he doesn’t have a reason to expect any forgiveness. He can’t say, “you’re a bad Christian because you refuse to forgive me for the thing I never did.” I mean, where’s the logic in that?
So, if this is a situation where he admitted everything, took full responsibility, and asked for your forgiveness, knowing he has no right to expect it from you, and assuming that this is something that you’ve let fester over time, and you haven’t forgiven him, then yes, you’re looking at a fairly unrighteous reaction on your part.
It’s understandable, but still, not the most holy option. However, those assumptions don’t hold because, apparently, he thinks you’re a terrible Christian for holding a grudge.
If you’re trying to make ME feel guilty when YOU did something wrong, then you aren’t taking responsibility, and if you’re not taking responsibility, you have no reason to expect forgiveness from anyone, Christian or otherwise.
This is blame-shifting. You abuse me, then you point to my subsequent reaction, to justify the abuse that happened in the first place.
When I lay it out like that, it seems crazy to accept something so obviously manipulative. But when we’re already using guilt as a way of managing our walk with the Lord (which is a SUPER bad idea), then we become vulnerable to anyone else who wants to come along and lay a guilt trip on us.
Having said all that, the right thing for you, is to forgive your brother. It’s time to release the pain and the heartache. You were forgiven in a way you didn’t at all deserve, and God expects you to forgive in the exact same way. Do this, and you will be more free, more happy, and more peaceful, and I want that for you.