I have been chewing on the forgiveness toffee for several months now. And it is a very hard and sticky toffee to chew. After speaking to many people on the subject, reading about it, praying about it and meditating about it, I have now formed my opinion on this difficult subject. I will try to keep it short and simple. This is what I have learned.
- Forgiveness is not an emotion. If you wait until you FEEL forgiveness, you are never going to forgive anybody. Forgiveness is not something that comes natural to us humans.
- Forgiveness is a decision of the mind. You DECIDE to forgive somebody. You still won’t feel it. You might still get angry at times. Every time, you will have to remind yourself that you have taken a decision, and stick to it. In due time, God will make it drop into your heart, and the anger will disappear. But first, you have to DECIDE.
- You don’t forgive somebody because he/she deserves it. No. You forgive, because YOU deserve it. You deserve a life without bitterness and hatred.
- Sometimes, reconciliation is possible. Sometimes, it isn’t. Reconciliation is not an automatic result of forgiveness. Sometimes, relationships are so toxic, that it is better to just walk away from the person. Whether it is a family member or a friend, makes no difference. Toxic people steal our joy. We can walk away from them, without hating them. It is okay to sing with Gotye: “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know” if reconciliation is really, really, not possible. You cannot expect reconciliation between a child and her father after he has sexually abused her for 10 years. You cannot expect reconciliation between a woman and her ex husband after a horrific marriage of 11 years. 11 Years filled with verbal abuse, physical abuse, and affairs. It doesn’t make sense. Still, we have to forgive.
The Bible clearly tells us to forgive. That is the only command given. If reconciliation is not possible, that is still okay.
My 2 cents.