If love is where life happens and where God is, forgiveness is our way to change our hate into dislike, and bring people and events from the darkness into the light.
For instance, if someone wronged you in some terrible way, you may hate them. They have moved a portion of your reality into darkness. If you can manage to separate the wrong from the soul, and forgive it, you can make meaningful progress in moving into a reality where you can love God better.
For a traumatic event, you may hate someone or a portion of yourself. You may hate the portion of you that allowed it to happen, or the portion of them that committed the crime. Learning to forgive myself has been a huge challenge. And if I have done the wrong, I am the one that has ventured out of the light into the darkness. The only way back in is self-forgiveness.
The difference between a grudge and forgiveness is the difference between hate and dislike.
The only difference between hate and dislike is tolerance. If you dislike something, you accept that you will have to endure it. When you hate it, you are actively looking for ways to avoid it. Forgiveness is the magic that helps us move things from hate to dislike.
But we need reasons to forgive. If your believe system doesn’t provide these, you need to keep looking. In Christianity, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So we forgive.
It’s also important for our mental health. Imagine, for instance, that you hate firearms. Realities with firearms scare you. Therefore, to avoid all future realities with firearms in them, you have to really think ahead. But no matter how much planning you do, you’ll likely have another encounter with a firearm, and you’ll hate it. So maybe you seclude yourself. If you never exit your home, you’ll never have to encounter another firearm, or the fear that you’ve associated with it. But you see, your freedom from fear has become a freedom from freedom.
Obviously you can’t forgive a gun. The next step would be determine the real source. Maybe it was military, the death of a loved one, or any number of other things. Whatever it was, it can be identified. You don’t hate guns. You hate what someone did with one. If you can piece apart the person and object from the crime, you can begin to forgive, and start moving forward.
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. – Colossians 3:13