It can be so hard to figure out this whole forgiveness thing. With Be Not Afraid, I have helped many people work through what it really means for their own situations. Of course, I’m always working it out in my own situations as well.
Forgiveness never means that a wrong done was not a wrong. It doesn’t mean that there should be no consequences to an action. It doesn’t mean that we should not try to correct and address a wrong that has been done to us or to someone else. It does mean that our hearts will not harbor the wrong when it has been addressed and corrected. It does mean that while we hurt from the pain inflicted on us, we also hurt for the other who has no idea what they are doing, even if they seem to know exactly what they are doing.
So how do we forgive? It’s not always easy, and it’s not always asked for. It is a process and a practice, and one that improves each time we realize our own need to be forgiven. We are reminded every time we pray, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Then, we ask that God help us to do it, because in reality, it is grace that allows us to forgive at all.