How can I forgive when I still feel the way I do toward that person? When I think about what they have done to hurt me, I feel anger, rage, bitterness, malice, and sadness. I can’t forgive them while I’m feeling this way.
The key is you. It’s not wrong to feel the way you do. Feelings are gifts from God. They are emotions that we have spontaneously inside us. Emotions are neither right nor wrong. They just are. Emotions should not be the decider in how we act. They are just a part of who I am. My will and my feelings are not the same thing.
Forgiveness like love is not a feeling or emotion. Like love, forgiveness is a decision. It is something that we consciously do. Jesus has shown us how to forgive. How do you think He felt when He was on the cross and the soldiers were casting lots for His garments? We might not know exactly how He felt, but we know what He did. “Then Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23: 24).
Jesus made the decision to forgive, and so should I.