So I guess it's important. Like castor oil, and cabbage. But maybe there are some ways to make it a bit more palatable...
- It's not a free pass - you're nor giving blanket absolution to the person; that's God's job. You're putting aside the anger in your own heart.
- It's not an invitation - you don't have to forgive and then invite the person back into your life as if nothing's happened. No, wait. You do have to treat them as if nothing's happened. But you don't have to reinstitute the old patterns of behavior that led to your being hurt in the first place.
- It's not weak - forgiveness is not a weepy clinging and teary promises that everything's going to be all right. It's you, saying to yourself, "let it go". And then, letting it go, and when feelings of anger and bitterness surface, refusing to let them in, and refusing to hate.
- It's about you - forgiveness is designed to help your soul, to give you freedom. Hating someone else is, as Joyce Meyer says, like taking poison in the hope that your enemy will die. Kind of stupid.
Not easy at all. I'm not very good at it. But it seems to be important to God, so I guess I have to try.