I believe forgivness is something that is difficult for most people. I have often wondered whether it can be taught or learnt. I have also wondered what is it that makes it easy for some people to forgive, and for some people not to be able to forgive at all.
Just stumbled on this piece and makes a lot of sense.
By Neil T. Anderson and Rich Miller (from Freedom From Fear)
Since God requires you to forgive, it is something you can do.
Sometimes it is hard to forgive someone because you naturally want revenge for the things you have suffered. Forgiveness seems to go against your sense of what is right and fair. So you hold onto your anger, punishing people over and over again in your mind for the pain they’ve caused.
Here are the reasons that forgiveness is a necessity:
Forgetting is not forgiveness. People who want to forget what was done to them will find they cannot do it. The thoughts and hurts keep coming back. The healing cannot begin until you forgive.
Forgiveness is a choice, a decision of your will. God tells you never to take your own revenge (Romans 12:19). Trust that God will deal with that person justly and fairly.
Forgive others for your sake, so you can be free. Forgiveness is mainly a matter of obedience to God. He wants you to be free.
Forgiveness is agreeing to live with the consequences of another person’s sin. You are going to have to live with those consequences, whether you like it or not. Your choice is whether you will do so in the bondage of bitterness or in the freedom of forgiveness. You may wonder where the justice is in it. Justice is found at the cross, which makes forgiveness legally and morally right.
Do not wait for the other person to ask for your forgiveness. Jesus did not wait for those who were crucifying Him to apologize before He forgave them. “Father, forgive them,” He prayed, “for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Forgive from your heart. Too often we’re afraid of the pain, so we bury our emotions deep down inside us. Let God bring them to the surface so He can begin to heal those damaged emotions.
Forgiveness is choosing not to hold someone’s sin against him or her. Let go of the past, refusing to bring up old issues with the person who wronged you or with others who will listen. Reject any thought of revenge.
Don’t wait until you feel like forgiving. You will never get there. Make the hard choice to forgive even if you don’t feel like it. Once you choose to forgive, Satan will have lost his power over you in that area, and God’s healing touch will be free to move.
Say this prayer: Lord, I choose to forgive (name that person) for (what they did) even though it made me feel (share the painful feeling). Lord, I choose not to hold any of these things against (name) any longer. I thank You for setting me free from the bondage of my bitterness toward (name). I now ask You to bless (name). In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.