. . . forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
... Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Forgiveness is not a feeling; it's not forgetting; it's not pretending you weren't hurt; it's not trusting the person again; it's not even reconciliation. Forgiveness is a DECISION you make to obey God. No one, not even God can make you forgive someone. You must decide to give up your right to hurt the person back. I forgive those who hurt me because God has forgiven me for the hurts I have caused him. Forgiveness protects the forgiver from himself. Forgiveness cancels a debt like Christ cancelled our debt. God says, "I do the punishing; all I want you to do is the forgiving." Forgiveness is a process, it takes time, but it is an act of grace that reflects God's treatment to us. When I forgive, I release God to work directly on the other person.
When I refuse to forgive, I create a barrier between God and me and I can't pray. When I don't forgive I'm saying that what that person did to me is more important than going on with God.
I know I have truly forgiven when the love of God can flow through me to the person who wronged me. When my decisions are not controlled by the other person's behavior, I know I have forgiven. When I am free from the pain, anger and hatred towards that person and experiencing God's peace, I know I have truly forgiven.
Posted by gor(jess). @ 1:55 PM