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So you’ve dropped your weapons. You’ve released the pain and asked God to forgive them.
But why does it feel like there’s a tug of war going on in your soul?

One minute you find yourself saying, “forgive them, Lord,” and the next you’re thinking, “smite them, Lord!”

When that happens to me, I realize how bitter my heart is, and I realize my actions are no better than the person who hurt me.

I need help.

I need forgiveness just as badly as the person who hurt me does.

We all do.

When we extend forgiveness to others, it actually helps us receive it for ourselves. We wipe the record clean, giving people to God to let Him choose what is best as their judge and Savior, and it makes it a little easier to do the same thing for ourselves.

Just like love is a choice, forgiveness is a choice. Because God loved us, He gave Jesus to die for our sins so we could be freed from the sins of yesterday and live free today.

After you choose to forgive, you have to choose to forget.

Because our minds remember even when we’ve made the choice to forgive.

You can choose to forget by no longer rehearsing what happened. You can stop the rewind and the playback. You can stop entertaining the thoughts, and dwelling, and allowing the hurt or anger to be rekindled emotionally or revisited mentally. When thoughts or wounds try to stir you up again, you can remind yourself that you already chose to forgive, and it’s now under the blood of Christ.

You can refuse to keep retrying the case.

We are released from our wounds and offenses when we stand before Jesus with our own sin before us, and He calls us innocent and free to go as He took our punishment for us.

So we forgive as we’ve been forgiven, and we make the choice to not create our own emotional or mental prisons by dwelling on what happened or what was done to us.

Forgiveness is an act of faith.

We forgive ourselves, and others, by faith in the sacrifice of Jesus.

And we make the choice to forget.

Everyday if we have to.

Until the day “it” no longer has a hold on you.

Until it no longer stings like it was yesterday.

Until you can speak about it generalities or stories and help someone else.

Eventually, you’ll realize that, although the scar may still be there, the wound has healed, and you’re free.

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*Portions of this blog have been excerpted and adapted from Better Than You Feel.*

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