How to Forgive Even When You Don't Want To

I don't know about you, but forgiving doesn't come easily for me, especially if I've been hurt. There's been times I would rather watch a Caillou marathon than forgive someone (especially if they don't even seem sorry). As hard as it may be, and no matter how badly I don't want to do it, I've learned forgiveness is necessary. If I do not handle issues or come to a place of forgiveness, I'm holding onto resentment. The problem with holding onto resentment is that eventually it will steal my happiness. Something I saw on Pinterest a while back really stuck with me. It was an image of Rafiki from The Lion King that said, "Forgive not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace." I've put together a list of some practical forgiveness tips to help us let it go. 

  1. Don't wait for an apology. Sometimes it may not come. Forgive for your benefit. 
  2. Don't deny being hurt. You don't have to ignore your hurt to forgive. 
  3. Don't seek revenge. It won't help.
  4. Write a letter to get your feelings out. It most likely won't help to send it to the other person. This is just a good exercise for you to let out all of your emotions. End the letter with how you are going to forgive them. 
  5. Take some time to clear your head and process your emotions before confronting someone after being hurt. 
  6. Try to think of some positive things about the person.
  7. Accept an apology when it is offered. Don't pretend you are over it before you are. You may need to ask for some time to process your feelings, and that's okay. 

None of us need to stay "stuck." Forgiveness and moving forward take practice. Don't let resentment beat you down any longer. Life is too short to be anything but happy. 

Meet Jenn. Her warm smile probably has you feeling like you've known her for years. She has the gift of making others feel welcome and understood. Jenn somehow manages to always be punctual, even with a household of three little girls to corral. She's got a huge heart for animals and an eye for the perfect jewelry to match any outfit. A good heart-to-heart, ending in a laugh 'til it hurts kind of moment, feeds her soul. Jenn sees God in the people and beauty that surrounds her.