What Forgiveness Really Means
Learning how to forgive someone is difficult when you feel betrayed or hurt. It is difficult to look at someone lovingly when you’re holding on to their unloving action. So how do you forgive when every fiber of your being resists?
One of the reasons why forgiveness is so difficult is because when someone has hurt you, you “hold on to the offense” — something you may see as a benefit to yourself. You may, in fact, believe that your anger is protecting you.
To begin, let’s talk about what forgiving is not:
- Letting the offender off the hook
- Justifying the hurtful behavior
- The same as reconciling the relationship
- Something you can accomplish all at once
- Staying in a relationship which is dangerous to your children or to yourself
Now let’s talk about what forgiving is:
- An act of your own will
- Essential for your personal healing
- Necessary for the offender’s healing
- Releasing the offender from owing you anything
- Letting go of bitterness and resentment