Do I need to tell the person, “I forgive you”?

Forgiveness can be a complex issue, especially when it comes to deep or ongoing hurt. There’s definitely more to discuss than I had time to last Sunday, so here are some answers to common questions about forgiveness from Ray Pritchard’s, The Healing Power of Forgiveness.

Do I need to tell the person, “I forgive you”?

Not necessarily. Obviously, if a person asks for forgiveness, and if you intend to forgive him or her, then of course you should say, “I forgive you.” But most of the time, the people who hurt us are not seeking forgiveness or reconciliation. Sometimes it isn’t helpful to say, “I forgive you,” for then you end up picking a fight because the person responds, “I didn’t do anything that needs to be forgiven.” Remember, your forgiveness doesn’t depend on them. You don’t need their permission to forgive them. You don’t need their agreement that they were wrong. Just forgive them. Choose forgiveness in your heart, and then move on with your life.

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