Forgiveness is a choice not an emotion.
If someone owes you money, you can choose to hold the debt against them or choose to release them of the debt.
This is where we get the phrase “to forgive a debt”. To forgive is to no longer require them to pay what they owe.
This is your choice. Your feelings are not a necessary part of this decision.
So, why is it when you have forgiven someone, you still feel the sting in your heart? is it because you haven’t forgiven?
Why is it you still feel the pain?
I’ve forgiven, I shouldn’t feel anything against the person anymore, right?
Let me help you.
That feeling you feel is not the feeling of unforgiveness. You have already made the choice to forgive.
That feeling you feel is the pain of the hurt.
Let me illustrate this.
Let’s say someone pinches you on the hand. It hurts right?
Let’s say you forgive her. How long does the hurt last?
Surely, no more than an hour right?
So, you’ve forgiven her, the pain is a distant memory and you move on in life.
But, let’s say, someone takes a knife and stabs you in the stomach. And, thank God, you didn’t die.
You forgive him, but how long will you feel the pain of the wound?
Do you think the scar will ever be gone?
You may have forgiven the person who hurt you, but the pain of the hurt may stay with you for awhile. In fact, the scar of the hurt may never go away!
The same applies to your heart.
When someone wounds your heart, depending on the extent of the wound, it may take some time to heal.
Even if your heart heals, sometimes, the scar remains.
So, that pain you are still feeling in your heart is not unforgiveness.
If you have truly made a decision to forgive, you may just need some time to heal from the hurt.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Forgiveness is a decision that can be made in a moment but healing is a process that cannot be rushed.
If you are going through this right now, my prayer is that the love of God will help you through your hurts and pain.
Hang in there!