What does is it mean to forgive? It's a real mystery. It's said often but never really explained. Yet it is the key to a better society and many personal problems, including bullying.
There's a common phrase that goes like "Forgive and forget." This might indicate that forgetting is important, but then again, since it's separated from Forgive, it isn't part of it. Instead, it's more of a sign that forgiveness has taken place. I can remember your past misdemeanors, but if I bring them up again and again as something negative, then I really haven't forgiven you. On the other hand, if I bring them up as a way of showing your virtue, then it shows I did forgive. An example of this would be me saying, "Yeah, you broke my window, but I saw you were really sorry about it. You came and quickly apologized and helped me replace it."
We tend to think of forgiveness as relieving someone of responsibility, but this is wrong. Forgiveness can relieve someone of all responsibility, but it doesn't need to. In fact, some restitution almost always required. By restitution, I mean "the return or restoration of a specific thing or condition." Consider this example:
Imagine hitting a baseball into your neighbor's window. The window is broken. Your neighbor says he forgives you, but you still need to replace or help cover the cost of the window. Is that fair? No, because you are getting off easy. Your neighbor still has to bear the pain of having a broken window for a time. He has to suffer the inconvenience of taking care of something he wouldn't have had to before. There is a wound he has to suffer. If the window is special or unique, then the pain is even greater. That's where forgiveness comes into play.
"Forgiveness is Divine" because it is an act of love. It's an act of mercy, and by being so, a vehicle for Justice. I mentioned about restitution being "the return or restoration of a specific thing or condition." Now that status cannot be perfectly restored as I mentioned in my example above. However, the nature of Forgiveness is that it restores the perpetrator to the good graces of the victim. Justice is about restoring order and balance. Therefore forgiveness is essential to achieve proper justice. It's link to justice also helps show why retribution is required.
Retribution helps cover the physical burden, but forgiveness heals the emotional wound. Retribution also takes a second purpose when done properly. It shows that you accept the status of grace bestowed on you mercifully and return thanks by showing an act of love in return. By showing you are willing to bear some pain as well for the benefit of the one you have offended, you lower your pride for the benefit of someone else. The result is that Forgiveness, by being a vehicle for justice and an act of love, can actually turn a bad deed into the means of improving a relationship. That is also simply Divine.
N. D. Moharo
P. S. Due to the 2nd nature of retribution I described, it's often the case that it is absolutely required for the improvement of the perpetrator. While Forgiveness can cover everything, the act of humility required to perform restitution helps the perpetrator grow to become a better person. However, the greater the act of forgiveness, the greater of an act of love it is. This also means that unless you truly have love for the perpetrator, you won't be able to forgive without some act of retribution. And yes, practicing forgiveness makes it possible to achieve perfect forgiveness. This is due to the nature of love as being linked to humility. The more humble you are, the easier it is to love and forgive because you care about the other person more than yourself.
P. S. S. Since Forgiveness is an act of love, the greater the act, the more the recipient feels love when he accepts it. This in turn makes it so he may become generous with love as well.