Forgiving someone who has injured you is difficult. A multitude of rationales and misunderstandings often hinder us from exercising this most crucial of relational choices. On top of that, there are myths about forgiving that need to be cleared up (a myth is a widely held but false belief).
Myth #1. “Forgiveness will let the offender off the hook.”
Forgiving someone is not the same thing as pardoning them. Forgiveness is not rescuing someone from the consequences. Remember, forgiveness can be defined as releasing a person from the debt they owe you. When they injured you, a debt was incurred. When you forgive them, they don’t owe you anymore. However, they still might fare consequences like jail, loss of a job, etc.
Myth #2. “Forgiveness will require me to rebuild the relationship.”
Forgiveness is to be given unilaterally, but restoring the relationship may take repentance, restitution, and the rebuilding of trust. Choosing to forgive unconditionally involves telling God that you forgive that person as He forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). Communicating that you forgive the person requires that they actually acknowledge what they did was wrong.
I don’t know who originally said it, but best quote on forgiving I have heard was “In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. But in the shadow of the cross, forgiveness is merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.”