You probably have heard the expression, “No pain….no gain.” I sometimes wonder if forgiving, which reduces pain, gets in the way of growth.
The expression “no pain….no gain” does not imply that one must be in constant pain to grow as a person. In weightlifting, for example, the pain is temporary for more long-term growth of muscles and strength. I think it is similar for a person’s psychology. The pain from unjust treatment is our forgiveness-gym as we develop our forgiveness muscles. The point, as it is in weightlifting, is to stop the pain so that one can grow. So, we do grow as we go though the pain. We also grow in character as we forgive. In other words, pain, working through pain, and finding relief from the pain all work together to help a person grow in virtue and character.
For additional information, see Bearing the Pain.