Ron Edmondson as two concise posts that biblically explain what forgiveness is and what it is not that are simple and helpful in for getting your mind and heart around what forgiveness is and what 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.