Does “I can’t forgive” mean “I don’t want to”?

I can’t forgive him. I don’t like what he did and it hurts way too much. He’s changed my life in ways he could never understand. These thoughts have been running through my head yet again.

I want to dislike, be angry and disrespect him. I don’t want to love, care about or forgive. To keep him at arms-length means I can categorize him as someone not worthy of love. I don’t want to see him as a human being, let alone a child of God.

Forgiving is hard, messy and takes work. Is it really worth it? My heart and mind are at odds with each other on this. My heart firmly says “no.” My mind reminds me I have done this before, it’s possible and the rewards are great. So I pray my heart will change. Because my “I can’t forgive” really means “I don’t want to.” To forgive means I open myself up to caring about this person and their well-being. To get to know them. To love them, honor and respect them. Right now I don’t want to do any of that. So I pray for God to change my heart. To soften my heart toward him. Even as I’m reluctant to do so.

Action Step: Pray for Jesus to soften your hard heart.

Scripture:

Ps 69:20 “Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.”

1 Sam 16:7 “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Ps 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”

What are your thoughts?