Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Colossians 3:13


It would have been so healing if I could have been forgiven for who I am—a person with mental illness. Wouldn’t the attitude towards me have been kinder?

I behaved in a way typical of some—people going through a hard time and in need of support. I’d experienced great losses and needed the love and support I once had. But a person who’d always been a friend was tired of me and showed it.

I was ashamed of my over-reliant behaviour—too many emails, too many expressions of pain. I begged to be forgiven a couple of times, saying I would try to do better. But there was not one response to help me with the healing. Instead, I lived for years with the pain of shame and rejection by one who was once a friend.

Too often this is what it means to have a mental illness. We’re not accepted or forgiven for the way we are.

In the Christian faith, forgiveness is key. Jesus died on the cross to forgive us for our sins. Yet we, as followers of Christ, do not always do the same. We don’t always forgive those who annoy us or sin against us.

What would have happened if Jesus had not forgiven us? Where would we be?

I wanted to be forgiven for behaving in a way I couldn’t help. Instead, I was blamed for the hurting that ensued.