The word “release” may be a better word to use than “forgive”. Or, at least it helps us with the proper framing of the word.

I know that the word “forgive” won’t be going away soon. And that’s okay. But it’s easy to think that “forgive” means to “be okay with all the ways that you’ve been wronged.” Like it’s up to you to give your oppressor a nod of approval.

That’s not forgiveness.

When you’re wronged, an inner chain of sorts is fastened between you and the one who’s done the deed. This chain fixes you to them, emotionally.

Forgiveness is a process of allowing God to break the chain between you and your aggressor so as to release you from that emotional captivity.

This isn’t as easy as walking away. Forgiveness - erm, releasing - is a process. It involves time, patience, honesty, and surrender to a higher Presence.

Father release them, for they do not know what they are doing.

(Hmm… Doesn’t have such a nice ring to it. But it might help on a practical level.)

This is a prayer for the chains to be broken.
Not for the wrongs to be artificially be turned into rights.

Grace + Godspeed,