What is forgiveness? And why the heck do we have to do it?
Forgiveness is not saying, "oh, that's ok...." or "I'm letting you off the hook." ABSOLUTELY not!
It is saying, "What you did was wrong and it hurt me; however, I'm not going to seek vengeance against you. I'm not going to make you pay for what you did. In fact, I'm going to release you from having anything more to do with what you did to me." And if you are a Christian, it is saying, "I'm going to let God have a crack at you!" Sometimes that will open up an opportunity to mend the relationship; other times we need to draw a very definite and firm boundary and keep an "unsafe" person away from us for a time, or even permanently out of our lives. Forgiveness releases US from the bonds of anger and frustration, not them. Forgiveness is for YOU! It allows peace to come back into our hearts and minds, and the gentle healing salve to soothe the pain of rejection or incredible hurt that the other person's words or actions caused.
The pain is real. Forgiveness doesn't make the pain go away, but it does make a way for healing to begin. The longer you choose not to forgive, the longer it will take to heal.
Maybe that's one of the reasons God tells us to forgive. He knows how much it will benefit US! :) Things have a way of coming around full circle. Some call it "karma"; some say, "what goes around comes around"; some say, "paybacks!". God says, "vengeance is mine". And believe me...He can do a WAY better job than we can!
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