Home Life Challenges Forgiveness How can I learn to love even the wicked?

How can I learn to love even the wicked?

Q: My heart is broken by the wickedness and betrayals of my fellow beings. How can I heal?

A:  I hear a lot of sorrow in your note. I am sorry to hear that you have experienced such problems in your relationships with others. Regarding betrayal, The Urantia Book says that "of all forms of evil, none are more destructive of personality status than betrayal of trust and disloyalty to one's confiding friends." So, it is little wonder that you have been so affected by this loss of trust.

Jesus once spoke of this very thing in this passage:

(149:6.12) "Well did the Prophet Jeremiah describe many mortals when he said: `You are near God in the mouth but far from him in the heart.' And have you not also read that direful warning of the prophet who said: `The priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money. At the same time they profess piety and proclaim that the Lord is with them.' Have you not been well warned against those who `speak peace to their neighbors when mischief is in their hearts,' those who `flatter with the lips while the heart is given to double-dealing'? Of all the sorrows of a trusting man, none is so terrible as to be `wounded in the house of a trusted friend.'"

And of course, we know that Jesus, too, experienced betrayal in his life from his trusted apostle, Judas.

How to heal from such a thing? Learning to forgive is a vital part of living a happy life. Even when we have every reason to nurse a grudge, or fan the flames of anger against another, it is always better to practice forgiveness towards those who have wronged us. And this practice will bring healing to your soul. It is not always easy to forgive, but as we do it, we will also be forgiven for our own misdeeds. We all crave forgiveness when we have done wrong, so we must also be willing to give it to others. Our heavenly Father is always willing to forgive:

(146:2.4) The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you have thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow men. God's forgiveness in fact is not conditioned upon your forgiving your fellows, but in experience it is exactly so conditioned. And this fact of the synchrony of divine and human forgiveness was thus recognized and linked together in the prayer which Jesus taught the apostles.

Of course, that prayer is "The Lord's Prayer," which may help you to come to that place where you can forgive. It is worth the effort.

Jesus was fond of using Scripture in his ministry. Here is a passage that he used more than once. I hope it will comfort you:

(126:4.2) "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the meek, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to set the spiritual prisoners free; to proclaim the year of God's favor and the day of our God's reckoning; to comfort all mourners, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy in the place of mourning, a song of praise instead of the spirit of sorrow, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, wherewith he may be glorified.

As for loving and trusting people who once betrayed you, that will be a process in which the offending parties will have to earn your good graces again. You can love and forgive by an act of the will, and because it is the right thing to do, but learning to trust may take some time, and trust should not be given until it has been earned. In the meantime, you can safely place your trust in God, who is always faithful.

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:: Date published:
:: Author: Staff