Forgiveness is not an overnight process
Many are writing off wrongs committed against them under the misconception that they are forgiving their debtors; this is a misleading practice, for there can be no authentic forgiveness without the one who owes the debt following at least three stages, First acknowledging that they owe the debt, second repenting or showing remorse for the debt, and third actually requesting to be forgiven of the debt.
The act of writing off the wrong requires the actions of only the one who is owed, this action allows one to move the debt off their active balance sheets into an inactive file, once written off they stop actively pursuing (thinking about) this debt, that does not mean the debt or wrongful act committed against you does not still exist. In most cases when a debt is written off the one who owes the debt may not be aware that the debt has been written off, while the one who is owed the debt now has peace of mind because they are no longer thinking about this debt, the one who owes still bears the burden of what they owe and may in time come forward and settle the debt, perhaps to clear their conscience or clean up their credit file. The one who is owed the debt may then bring the debt out of the inactive file and settle it.
Forgiving a debt requires both parties to be actively involved; it’s not an instantaneous process but actually requires time.
It is the debtor (owes the debt) who initiates and seeks the process of forgiveness by first acknowledging that they owe the debt: “I know I did you wrong” (the acknowledgement stage). One cannot forgive a debt that is not acknowledged. Once the debt is acknowledged, the debtor must then show some form of remorse for the impact the debt has had on the party they are seeking forgiveness from; they must come down off their high horse and issue a formal and heartfelt apology: “I am truly sorry for the harm I caused you and your family” (the repentance stage). Upon a successful, meaningful and accepted repentance, the debtor may then make their plea for forgiveness: “Will you please forgive me?” (the requisition stage). All three stages must be completed by the debtor before forgiveness can be effectively considered and extended by the party that is wronged.
The party who is owed the debt may then scrutinize each stage of the forgiveness process for authenticity then accordingly may then extend forgiveness of the debt to the debtor, but this is only done if the one who is owed the debt is completely satisfied with the process, for once they extend forgiveness the debt can never be re-staged.
This is completely different from writing off a debt, which is merely moving the debt off your active ledger to an inactive file, like a “cold case” file. Note that when detectives move a case to the cold case file, they no longer actively work the case. That is not to say the case does not still exist; all it takes is for a new piece of evidence to surface and that case is brought out of “cold cases” and re-staged as an active case. This confusion between the two is why some people will say they forgive you for a thing but throw it back in your face every time there is a disagreement between the two of you.
It is also noteworthy that due to the extent of the damage, forgiveness may require a fourth stage, which is restitution. In other words, I may not begin to consider the forgiveness process until you replace my stolen goods.
Forgiveness is a process that actively involves both the one who owes the debt and the one who is owed the debt. It is not an overnight process. So ask yourself, “Am I writing off wrongs done against me under the guise of forgiveness?” –Rudwaan, The Lions Tale, www.thelionstale.com