A few quick things about forgiveness.
– Forgiveness is not a one-shot deal, but a daily lifelong process that might take a hundred times a day. This is partially what Jesus meant when he said forgive seventy times seven.
– It’s okay to be mad. It’s okay to grieve about what happened. You don’t have to stuff these feelings. In fact, it’s better to feel them down to the bottom if you want to make it back out.
– Forgiveness does not mean friendship. Boundaries are necessary and you’re not required to hang out with the people who hurt you. It’s possible to be kind, but that doesn’t require becoming best buddies.
– Forgiveness does not mean that the hurt should be forgotten or dismissed. In fact, true forgiveness actually confronts the very real hurt that was done to you and says, “This is not okay. This is something terrible that requires that someone pays.” The Christian recognizes that reparations are required, while at the same time we absorb the emotional hurt with the process of forgiveness.
– Christians are too quick to rush this process and it’s almost like they become lawyers for the perpetrator instead of healers for the wounded. The people who hurt you should still be held accountable, with all the mercy you can give and with all the justice that they’re owed.