Forgiveness: What is it?

Here’s what forgiveness is NOT:

- condoning bad behavior

- pretending that it didn’t hurt

- making excuses for someone

- acting nice to someone

- righteously proclaiming forgiveness from a pious sense of righteousness against someone who is all wrong

Here’s what it IS for me:

It’s a process of enlarging my perspective. The process goes something like this:

- Looking at myself from God’s perspective. Knowing that I’m completely loved even when I’m weak.

- Becoming crystal clear about the hurt–how it feels inside and the emotions that I’m carrying.

- Naming what actually happened factually–how big or small, who, what, when, where…

- Inviting the power of God’s spirit into my heart to see the other person with new eyes–eyes that see them not as a monster who hurt me, but as someone who is also a beloved child, who is capable of being hurt and who is also a complete human being.

- Releasing the pain and negative emotions to God–letting them disappear into his embrace. Receiving healing within myself.

- With God’s power, blessing the other person with everything they need to return to completeness.

- and MAYBE, and this depends on the other person, reconciling with them.

It takes some time, but it’s well worth the effort. Would you like to start the process, perhaps with a friend or with a journal, and see how far you can get?

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