Forgiveness takes time. There is time involved. The question most ask is how long does forgiveness take? It is a question for the ages that one never seems to grasp. But again; how long does it take? Let’s face it that is what people want to know right?
And so it goes there is no specific answer. Forgiveness is a process and as with any process it takes time. There is no way around it. There are some things; however, that must be taken into consider when it comes to the time factor of forgiveness.
1. Every person is different. We all are different. None are the same. How every person progresses through life in his or her own way and based upon life experiences too is different. To determine the timeline of forgiveness for each person makes no sense because it really is not relevant. What is relevant to recognize is that the process is underway. Comparing any person and his or her ability to forgive and in a quicker manner serves no purpose and more often than not serves rather as a hindrance because again; each person is different.
2. Every situation is different. No two situations are the same. They may be similar; but not the same. There is no way for them to be because the people involved are not the same, the interpretation of the situation is different; and understanding that applying ways of old to new situations can be more of a hindrance because the applications may not apply. One situation may one of infidelity while another may be wrongful death; and still even betrayal in friendship. No two situations are the same therefore handling them in an exact manner would not be sufficient.
3. Every person’s relationship with Christ is different. When it comes to forgiveness in Christ; where a person is in relationship to and with Him is different. Only God knows the motives of man’s heart. It is written in Jeremiah 17:10: “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” To determine the timeline of forgiveness truly is not the main focus because God knows not only the situation; but also the heart of the person who needs to forgive.
The bottom line is that forgiveness is a process. It is one of healing and deliverance. It is one that will relinquish much pain and heartache. The process of it is one that takes as long as it takes for each person. Falling into the trap of believing that one must be finished forgiving in this time or that; is dangerous. It creates a level of comparison that need not be. It builds a level of bondage that need not be. And when forgiving and living in it; it is always a process and there is no timeline to live in it. It’s something to progress through for the rest of the days of your life.