Forgiveness is crucial in life, but especially in a caregiving situation. Let your gratitude for how much you have been forgiven by God motivate you to show that same forgiveness. Forgive the loved one you care for when he or she hurts or offends you. It will happen. Your loved one is facing major setbacks and frustrations, and those may cause unkind words to flow or inconsiderate actions to surface. Of course those words and actions sting.
Pray, pray, and pray some more when you are feeling offended. As you forgive the loved one you’re caring for, commit to act with his or her best interests in mind going forward. Let your thoughts, actions, and words about your loved one reflect that commitment.
Forgive other family members, like siblings, who don’t pitch in to do their fair share of the caregiving work. This can be more difficult than forgiving your person of care. I know I have had many moments of disappointment and anger when a sibling or two has not done what I wanted them to do in regards to my parents’ care. I’ve even been known to send out a scolding email now and then when I was feeling particularly stressed and overwhelmed. NOT a good idea, trust me!! Remember, we don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life. And not all of our siblings will prioritize care for an ailing parent in the same way that we might. Playing “martyr” doesn’t help. It might make us feel more important, but it does nothing toward building family relationships. And it certainly isn’t what God wants us to do.
Forgive doctors who don’t take enough time to answer your questions. Forgive care workers who may fall short on the job. Remember that their job is a tough one, and most definitely not a well-paying one. They need our support, prayers, and encouragement.
Forgive yourself for not being able to do everything you’d like to do as a Giver of Care. You are human. You will make mistakes with your actions, priorities and much, much more. If you are praying for God’s grace to get you through this trying time, then He will provide. God does not want us beating ourselves up.
Regularly ask God to show you both your own shortcomings and who you need to forgive. Then confess your sins, repent, accept God’s forgiveness for yourself, and rely on God’s help to forgive others. In the process, you’ll find that God gives you the grace to develop greater compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love.
Colossians 3:13: Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.