by Real Live Preacher
Forgiveness is the healing of wounds caused by another. You choose to let go of a past wrong and no longer be hurt by it. Forgiveness is a strong move to make, like turning your shoulders sideways to walk quickly on a crowded sidewalk.
It's your move.
It really doesn't matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on.
You can't forget. Forgiving has nothing to do with forgetting. You should remember everything and learn from it. Forgiving is goodness in the middle of remembering.
Above all, forgiveness is a series of choices you make.
You choose not to seek revenge or fantasize about revenge. You choose not to talk badly about the person who hurt you or wish evil for them.
You choose to let go of your anger and not feed upon it. Shedding anger takes time and practice, but you choose to move in that direction.
You choose to wish that person well.
If these choices seem impossible to you, you might start by choosing to pray for the person who wronged you. You can pray for someone even if you don't believe in God.
You should be quiet about your forgiveness, except with close friends. If you need to tell the story, you have not arrived. Choose not to tell the story until you no longer want to.
Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people are not capable of receiving your love, and it might be wise to let them go along with your anger. Wish them well, and let them go their way.
Whatever happens, forgiveness is good food for your soul.
Real Live Preacher is a pastor in Texas who writes amazing insights about life and God in his blog. You can read it here http://www.reallivepreacher.com
A warning about RLP...he is very blunt and sometimes uses off-color language, but I think you guys can handle it.