Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."
Without forgiveness, the hurts of our lives cling to us like the smoke wildfires.
We burn each time we finger the seared surface.
God knows our pain. After all, He forgave the unpardonable. Upon the cross, after brutal torture despite His innocence, Jesus said, "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do." If He forgave, so can we.
Four Ways to Achieve Forgiveness
1. Make the decision to forgive. Alcoholics and drug addicts must admit their shortcomings in order to find sobriety. Likewise, in overcoming unforgiveness, we must decide this is something we will do. The anguish won't necessarily go away instantaneously, but over time, it will fade.
2. Every time you replay the offense say, "I forgive." At first you'll sound like a broken record. Eventually, you'll find you're "forgiving" less and the memories will distance themselves from your life.
3. Don't expect the perpetrator to change. You are the one who needs to be healed. Other people are responsible for their own lives.
4. Talk to a trusted friend. This person must be a proven confident, not simply anyone who is within earshot.
5. Talk to a counselor. Broken friendships, insults, misunderstandings and other petty things can heal by themselves. However, for the monstrous issues, you need a trained professional be it a church pastor or a psychiatrist. Do not be ashamed to reach out for help.
6. Use your experience to heal others. We've heard of people who have started self-help groups, inspired legislation or simply have become mentors to those suffering the same heartache. By giving to others, your own sorrow can be calmed.
I've used each of the above and can attest to their efficacy. With forgiveness, the welt of a scar might remain, but the pain doesn't.