And sometimes, forgiveness is a lot like that.
And sometimes, forgiveness is a lot like that.

Forgiveness can be the hardest gift in the world to consider giving someone, and can certainly do damage to yourself if you try to force it before you’re ready. It can also be the thing that transforms your life utterly, completely, irrevocably for the better.

Trying to Forgive Before You’re Ready

This isn’t a good idea. When you’re ready to forgive, forgiveness becomes possible. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder, but suddenly it’s possible. And then you can just start forgiving everything. 

But until that point in time, it will be impossible to truly forgive, to absolutely let go even at the deepest level. Why is that? Because true forgiveness is a gift that is given to you by God. Once you’ve received it, you can give it to everyone, everywhere and end up with even more for yourself left over. Before you’ve received it, it’s hard to even fathom really, truly forgiving someone who has wronged you. Perhaps it’s impossible to even imagine.

And pushing that – trying to forgive before you’re ready will only increase the amount of suffering in your life. Guilt – that you should be forgiving, or that you shouldn’t be forgiving can start stacking up in our minds, causing stress overloads in our lives. That’s not good. So don’t push it. Don’t try to forgive before you’re good and ready.

When God Gives You The Gift of True Forgiveness

So, here’s the thing. If once, just once in your life, through no apparent effort of your own there comes a moment when you no longer carry the pain and resentment of a hurt you hadn’t forgiven before… If it is as if God came down from high and touched your heart and head and healed you from the pain and the hurt… If there has come a moment when you just shook your head and regardless of how wronged you were, you were just tired of suffering for it and could suddenly let it go – if something like this has ever in your life happened to you, you have received the gift of true forgiveness. You are ready to forgive everything else.

And if it hasn’t, then you’re not. That’s how you know when you’re ready.

Why is that?

The first instance of true forgiveness in a person’s life is a gift from God – we can’t force it. We can pray for it – that’s always useful – but we can’t make it happen. We can’t force ourselves to forgive and actually be able to forgive if God hasn’t jumpstarted that process in our lives.

And there’s no mistaking true forgiveness if it has happened to you. The difference in how a person feels before and after is simply palpable. The heaviness is gone. The suffering evaporates. The pain is no longer something you can perceive. The only things left are lightness, joy, peace and love, in that moment. It is beautiful. And it cannot be forced.

Trying to Get Ready for True Forgiveness

If that moment of True Forgiveness hasn’t happened to you yet, but you’d like it to, there is good news for you! It will soon. The simple fact that you want it to is a signal that you’re ready for God to be acting more significantly in your life. Your desire to be more forgiving is a signal to the Holy Spirit that you want more love and joy and peace in your life, and the Holy Spirit will always answer your prayers.

Keep wanting it. Keep praying for it. Know that the very first moment you are actually ready for it, God will give you this gift.

And get ready for a life transformed.