When unjustly hurt by another, we forgive when we overcome the resentment toward the offender, not by denying our right to the resentment, but instead by trying to offer the wrongdoer compassion, benevolence, and love; as we give these, we as forgivers realize that the offender does not necessarily have a right to such gifts.
Physically, forgiveness creates a higher quality of life, a healthier body, and a more positive attitude. It can reduce anger, bitterness, resentment and depression. Spiritually, forgiveness affirms what our faith usually requires of us and, therefore, helps us live a life of integrity. Socially, forgiveness reduces anger and resentment and often leads to an improvement in personal relationships with family, friends and community.
Dr. Robert Enright, founder of the International Forgiveness Institute, has created a pathway to forgiveness that can help you forgive if you willingly choose to do so. His latest book is a hands-on guide that walks readers through the process in 8 key steps with a special focus on self-forgiveness as well as interpersonal forgiveness.