Forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever be asked to do. You know you must forgive, because holding a grudge will never make it go less over time – in fact, it’s like feeding it, so it’ll only grow bigger. But that doesn’t make forgiving easy. Forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion. If you wait until you feel like forgiving, you risk remaining trapped in the torture of resentment. When Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive someone who had offended him, Jesus replied, ‘Seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22 KJV). In other words, forgive, and keep on forgiving until you get beyond it. But be aware of these four things: 1) Forgiveness doesn’t mean you must go back to a relationship with the offender, especially if they are unrepentant and refuse to change their behaviour. 2) It doesn’t mean endorsing what they did or agreeing with them. 3) It doesn’t let them off the hook; it lets you off the hook of resentment and enables you to get on with your life. 4) It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to remember it, but that you will have the power to think about it differently; graciously rather than resentfully. And one more thought: don’t let Satan convince you that you haven’t forgiven just because you still remember. The ability to forgive is a learned behaviour. The more you practise it, the better you get at it. It happens when you look for ways to extend understanding to your offender and find something, even if it’s only tiny, to be compassionate about.