When Resolution Doesn’t Come
Forgiveness doesn’t make what happened to you right; it means you’ve made a decision to not let it control your life. It doesn’t depend on the other person; it depends on you. Forgiveness also doesn’t mean the relationship always stays the same. It takes time to rebuild trust and make sure repentance is genuine. In fact, if the offense is abusive or puts you in danger, forgive, but maintain a safe distance.
Long after you think you’ve forgiven somebody, you can still be harboring hard feelings. Here are some clues that you’ve still got work to do: you get angry thinking about what happened; you give the offender the cold shoulder; you rehearse the incident mentally and in conversation; you seize every opportunity to remind the offender of what they did.
The Lord says that vengeance belongs to Him. Don’t usurp His authority by trying to get even; take your hands off the situation and let Him work it out. He doesn’t want a grudge to shackle you to the offender. He doesn’t want your nights filled with misery and turmoil. Why give somebody that kind of control over your life? What’s important is what happens in you, not to you. So forgive, forget, and move on!
True forgiveness, the kind that’s taught in Scripture, is a commitment you must practice every day of your life. People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.