I have given some thought to this subject of Forgiviness-When and How and my first impulse is to remind all of us that there was no greater love than when our Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven. Nothing can compare to that time of magnificant self denial from our Lord. Having said that, I think it is a very good thing that we do not have to be in a position to give up our life for other humans, because I just do not think we could handle it and especially so that others could be forgiven. The desire might be there, if we are truly Christian, but I do not think the strenght He had exist today.
I guess my question would be, when is not appropriate to forgive? My answer would be there is not a time when we should not release and releave our pain, anger, frustration, sadness or whatever emotion it is that is holding one back and take the road to healing. Forgiveness will heal and it is just that simple. No, it is not that simple to do but it is that simple. When we cannot forgive, for whatever reason (there is no reason good enough) it keeps us in bondage to pain and all the other negative emotions we have. It keeps our spirit from being whole. It keeps our joy short lived. It just does not give us the full blessing of living our life with wholeness.
Holding a grudge but saying we have forgiven someone is not forgiveness. When you have truly forgiven, the little churn in the stomach goes away when you see the person who has caused the offense. You are able to throw up your hand and give them a wave and you do not need to walk down the other isle at the store to dodge them. When you have truly forgiven, it doesn't matter any longer who was right or wrong, you stop wondering why and just accept. I am a believer that it is sometimes for our own benefit that we have such times in our life so that we have to reach within ourselves for strength to do unto others, as we would have them do unto us. Follow me? I am almost sure that we have all caused someone, somewhere discomfort. I am sure that we have all needed forgiveness, if we have not, we probably will. I have experienced this and when the offense occurred, I have never felt such pain. It was God telling me, though I did not know it at the time, what had happen was wrong. It was hard to discern why I was hurting so but it did not take me long to find out.
The best place, I think to start forgiving is remembering that for us to be forgiven, we must forgive. It releases power within us when we can step back and say okay, I am going to let this go. It is not helping me to hold on to this, it is time to forgive and forget. I am going to start living with a new set of rules. I will no longer let another person have power over me. I am going to start fresh, I am wise and I will set myself free, I will and have forgiven.
It is nothing more powerful than when you know you are strong enough to let the negative go and know about Forgiveness, When and How! God Bless