Forgiveness starts with an attitude of being forgiving and ends in a transaction of forgiveness between two people. Most of us may find that after we have experienced a transaction of forgiveness with someone else that there is a time in the future when we find that we are experiencing continued deep hurt over what the person did a number of years ago. What to do?
First, note that forgiveness does not mean that we forget. Verses that talk about God forgetting our sins are not a references to God experiencing some kind of memory block, that somehow the all knowing one does not know. Not remembering means not using it against someone. Second, if you find yourself growing bitter confess your sin of bitterness. Bitterness is different from feelingthe pain of an action committed against you. Sometimes past wounds don’t completely heal. The New Heavens and the New Earth await us for complete healing. When you feel the ain of past hurt and begin to stew over it is when bitterness begins to sink in. We always have a choice as to how we are going to deal with the hurts and pains.
I believe that what we need to do is in the midst of these ongoing pains and hurst we continue to practice “being forgiving”. If you have gone through the transaction of forgiveness with someone and you find yourself wanting to use that sin against them the matter is a “heart issue” that needs confession and the ongoing ministry of God addressing the wounds of our life.