Forgiveness allows us to look at our offender with pity instead of hate. The process begins in our heart because while we may intellectualize the reasons we should forgive, it doesn’t happen until our HEART allows us to EXPERIENCE it. It’s easy for our minds to process all the reasons we SHOULD forgive especially reasons like, for example—God doesn’t forgive us unless we forgive others. Jesus said, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15) Yikes! Our mind can process that as a REALLY good reason to forgive—I mean we KNOW we NEED God’s forgiveness every day—right?!? So how do we get that message from our brain into our heart? How do I grow to feel compassion and pity for one who has hurt me when I run into them in Walmart? How do I keep my heart from becoming angry and bitter against them every time I see them post something nasty or snarky about me on Facebook? How do I keep myself from retaliating against them for spreading lies to attempt to destroy my law practice? Answer: I MUST draw close to God because HE is the ONLY one who can change MY heart. Perhaps that seems like too simple an answer because we believe we can change our own heart. However, we can change our MIND, but God changes our HEART. God is the ultimate source of goodness and peace and when we are close to Him, HE influences us and HE changes our heart. For those who choose to draw close to Him, God says: “And I will give them one heart [a new heart], and put a new spirit within them. I will take from them the heart of stone, and will give them a heart of flesh [that is responsive to My touch], that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they shall be My people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:19-20) The new heart HE gives us predicates our ability to walk in His ways and experience the blessings of a life with Him. Forgiving others is a work that GOD does in our heart as we draw close to Him. We draw close to Him by spending time with Him and forsaking our crimes against His love. He loves us more than we do!