A lot of people I know have a pretty jacked up view of forgiveness. A good definition of forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you.
Here are some things NOT in this definition:
- The person deserves forgiveness.
- The person asked for forgiveness.
- Your pain or harm just disappears.
- You understand why they hurt you.
- You forget about what happens.
- You no longer have to heal from the pain.
- You trust the person again.
- It is easy to do.
Being conscious and deliberate might be an ongoing process, and releasing the feelings of resentment benefits YOU. Walking around with resentment and bitterness does nothing to the other person. Unless you tell them or seek vengeance of some kind, they don’t even know. The resentment is there potentially harming you, making you cynical and jaded or even worse.
What is your relationship like with forgiveness?