Forgiving the Unforgiveable

Is it possible not to forgive someone because what happened is unforgiveable?  There is NOTHING that can happen to us that we cannot change how it affects us by choosing how we respond to the event.


Two men, both former prisoners of war in Vietnam, met for the first time some 15 years after their release from being held as POW’s in North Vietnam.

Both men were tortured and beaten, regularly. They were deprived of proper medical attention, and nutrition for over 3 years.  They were prisoners in the worst possible conditions imaginable. Staying alive was a challenge of will and spirit. Many men did not survive the brutal conditions.

During the meeting, one former prisoner asked the other “have you forgiven your captors yet?” The other man replied NEVER!!! I will never forgive the way we were treated.  The first man replied, “I see you are still in Prison”

That statement holds 100% truth! It is not the event that determines the outcome. It is how we respond to the event which determines the outcome.

Let me explain further.  It is expected to feel a certain way when we have been mistreated, lied to , manipulated, deceived, falsely accused of something we never did, abused… the list goes on and on. Anger, bitterness, resentment, and all the other feelings that are normal feelings to have, when we have been dealt a bad hand in life, are not feelings we have to live with the rest of our lives.

The people who hurt us are not the ones walking around every day with those feelings. We own those feelings by choice… feelings following us like a dark shadow.

Forgiving is “natural medicine” for our souls.  It restores some of the peace, wellbeing and contentment in our lives we give away when we don’t forgive.


  • Richard Fels
    Posted at 04:34h, 03 February Reply

    Well received. I too was a POW, and it took me a long time to forgive, but I’m now at peace.

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