The Capacity to Forgive

The Capacity to Forgive

God has been prompting me to reconnect with an important loved one in my life. How do I keep in touch with a person I love who doesn’t have the capacity to love me back, in the ways I want to be loved? As I worked through this forgiveness challenge, God provided healthy insights for me.

In a meeting with a Christian Counselor, I poured out my dilemma. The counselor helped me develop a prayer plan.  Before I meet with my loved one, pray and ask Jesus to protect the little girl Helen who is often hurting after contacts with this person.  Then after the meeting, pray again to cleanse my heart of any hurt or unforgiveness. Involve our precious Lord from beginning to end.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25 NIV

I then attended a group counseling session with nine other women. I found it comforting to know I am not alone in this struggle. Three out of ten of us struggled with the same important person in our life.  Our group session counselor provided the following wisdom.

  • Our person will never be what we need.
  • It will always be something that we want.
  • We will be living in a sacrificial state.
  • We need to lower our expectations.
  • Ask God for radical acceptance of the situation.

“Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22 NIV

If that wasn’t enough, the following week I hosted the Webinar – Wounded but Winning with Pastor Renelle Johnson.  Pastor Ren also had a significant family member who does not have the capacity to love the way Pastor Ren wants to be loved. The word capacity resonated with me. One of those 2×4 upside my head moments.

It is no coincidence that God provide three different perspectives to help me with an ongoing forgiveness challenge.  I love the person who does not have the capacity to love me in a way that is meaningful to me. I love my new word, “capacity”.

God’s capacity to love is endless. He forgives me every day. I am blessed.  May we all grow in our capacity to love and forgive as God loves and forgives us.

Helen Baratta is Director of Development at First Place for Health. She is the author of Restored! Embracing Weight Loss God’s Way and My Place for Leadership. Contact her at – Instagram @helenbaratta, Facebook @helen.t.baratta

  1. User Avatar

    Helen, that message from Pastor Ren resonated with me too—especially the word capacity. It seems to answer so many questions in a lopsided relationship. It helps soften the heartache of needing to accept that the one you love just doesn’t have the capacity to love back. God is so good to us in our journey. Much love and blessings, Judy Melen

  2. User Avatar

    Helen, I can relate to this struggle and God knew I really needed to read this today. God bless you.

  3. User Avatar

    Thank you for your transparency and willingness to share this with us. When I struggle with forgiveness I have to remember God’s love has been poured in me through His Holy Spirit and that I can love and forgive through Christ. God bless you.

Leave a Reply