Ron Edmondson has two posts he wrote awhile ago that are concise in biblically explaining what forgiveness is and it is not.
Here are 7 things forgiveness IS NOT:
Forgetting – When you forgive someone your memory isn’t suddenly wiped clean of the offense. I know God could do that, but it seems that would be the easy way. I suspect God wants forgiveness to be more intentional than that.
Regaining automatic trust – You don’t immediately trust the person who injured you when you forgive them. That wouldn’t even be logical. Trust is earned, and they must earn trust again.
Removal of consequences – Even though you forgive someone, they may still have consequences to face because of their actions.
Ignoring the offense – You don’t have to pretend nothing happened when you forgive. The reality is an offense was made. Acting like it never occurred only builds resentment and anger.
Instant emotional healing – Emotions heal with time. Some pain runs deep and takes longer to heal.
Restoring the same relationship – The relationship may be closer than before or not, but most likely it will never be the same.
A leverage of power – Granting forgiveness does not give a person power over the person being forgiven. That would violate the entire principle and purpose of forgiveness.
Here are 7 things that forgiveness IS:
Letting go of a right to get even – You give up the right for revenge when you forgive someone.
Moving forward – Forgiveness is like saying, “It hurt. I didn’t like it, but I’m moving forward with my life in spite of the pain.”
Dropping resentment and grudge – Forgiveness releases the angst towards the person who did the injury.
A choice – Forgiveness isn’t easy, but it’s a conscious decision made by the injured party.
A step towards healing – Forgiveness releases a weight from the shoulders of the injured, opening the door for emotions to heal.
An opportunity to display grace – There is no greater picture of God’s forgiveness of us than for us to forgive one another.
The removal of a roadblock – Forgiveness removes the barrier between us and living at peace again with ourselves, others, and God.