We have all been offended sometime in our lives by a family member, a co-worker, a friend, or a complete stranger. Offenses can negatively affect us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The offense can even rob us of our joy in life. Unforgiving may cause a continuous cycle of relapse and continued drug and alcohol abuse. Sometimes the pain can feel so badly, that forgiving your offender seems impossible. Feeling resentment might feel good and justified. However, staying with in the anger keeps us as the victim.
Response to the pain
When offended, a common initial response is to be angry. Then, we hang on to, by living with the pain and harboring resentment. At times, also using the offense as a weapon or an excuse for personal bad behavior. Chronic emotional distress will erode your health. Conversely, forgiveness will promote well-being. Use the act of forgiving as a strategy to overcome a situation that would otherwise cause major stress to your entire body. It is a resolution of anger and resentment.
How to Forgive
Forgiveness is for you, not the forgiven.
Forgiveness does not have to mean reconciliation with your offender. It is your heart that needs to feel a release of anger. Healthy anger fuels effective action. This action promotes freedom to let go of resentment and to fill your heart and mind with love and joy. The wrongdoer doesn’t need to change or even know that you have forgiven him. Forgiveness also does not mean you have decided the offense done to you is now okay. You no longer have to judge that person. Release your judgement in to God’s hands. “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6