5. Don’t forgive just to avoid pain – It can be easy to quickly grant forgiveness in order to avoid conflict and pain in the relationship. This usually is an attempt at conflict avoidance rather than true forgiveness. Take the appropriate amount of time to think through the situation and what will be involved in repairing the relationship before you grant forgiveness.
6. Don’t use forgiveness as a weapon – If you truly forgive someone, you won’t use their past behavior as a tool to harm them whenever you feel the need to get a little revenge.
7. Forgiveness isn’t dependent on the other person showing remorse – Whether or not the person who violated your trust apologizes or shows remorse for their behavior, the decision to forgive rests solely with you. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person, it only hurts you, and it’s not going to change anything that happened in the past. Forgiveness is up to you.
8. Forgiveness is freedom – Holding on to pain and bitterness drains your energy and negatively colors your outlook on life. Granting forgiveness allows you to let go of the negative emotions that hold you back and gives you the ability to move forward with freedom and optimism.
Forgiveness is the first step in rebuilding a relationship with someone who has betrayed your trust. If you skip this step you take the risk of trying to rebuild your relationship on shifting sand and eventually trust will crumble again.
Start with forgiveness, you won’t regret it.