We often do not forgive, because we don’t know how.
We don’t know what forgiveness is.
Forgiveness is something you do INDEPENDENTLY of the person who has hurt you.
Forgiveness is how YOU resolve your past.

Resentment is angry rumination that we demand
that yesterday and people would have been different.
“He should have.” “She should not have.”

Forgiveness is when we take that demand and make it a preference.
I would have preferred that you would have respected me or been kind.

When you change your demand to preference,
you may notice that you have “lightened up.”
This is because converting your demand to a preference
keeps in tact your value system.

It does matter what the other person did.
But you prefer to keep your own values.
Values that could be shaped by the gift of the Holy Spirit living in you:
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

It does matter what they did.
But with the Spirit’s help, you prefer to choose and live in your values, in God’s values,
rather than the values of the person who hurt you.

Prayer: Merciful God, I prefer that yesterday would have been different. That they would have been different.  Send you Spirit upon me that I may live today in your values and your generosity, and your peace. Amen.

Adapted from books and videos by Episcopal Priest Rob Voyle who has written and counseled extensively in Christian forgiveness. http://www.clergyleadership.com/faculty/robBio.cfm