The process of forgiveness

Stages in forgiveness:
  1. Face honestly the depth of hurt.

    We have to feel our pain before we can be relieved of it. Denial of pain 
    is a deception. If we block out our pain, it does o’t remove it or the damage the pain is causing. The pain can be stored within the mind and within physical manifestations. One woman I worked with stored her pain in the pit of her stomach with continual stomach problems. Another may store it in the back. I’m not saying all physical pain is stored emotions, but it can be.

    This is the first and longest stage, but it is important not to get stuck here. 
    Some persons start groups of victims and they end up staying angry together.

    If you have trouble getting in touch with your anger because you 
    feel it would be wrong, imagine Jesus being with you and then pray and ask Jesus if it’s okay to get in touch with your anger.

  2. Pray for the desire to forgive. Admit that it’s a movement of grace.

  3. Confess the part you have played or that you have been holding onto grudges or bitterness.

  4. Engage the will. Say out loud the words of forgiveness. Ask God to let His mercy for this person flow through you.
Sherill Hostetter, co-director of Human Resources, EMM, Salunga, Pa. from 2000-2015.