Read Colossians 3:13
13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. (NLT)
Old hurts can cling to us like some parasite, sucking the energy and gladness from us. Memories of what others have said or done have cast a long shadow over our lives so that they keep us captive and will not let us move on.
Forgiveness is so vital because it frees us to move on. We can’t move on by burying the pain and denying it is there. Nor can we move on by chewing over the pain ceaselessly. Forgiveness is all about facing the pain and forgoing any subtle or overt attempts to hit back. Forgiveness is about asking God’s help to release the hurt, not that we don’t ever feel it again, but rather that it ceases to hold us in its life-sapping grip.
It is not at all easy and not at all quick. But it is possible. It need not be dramatic either. This quote from the book The Kite Runner puts it well: “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.”