Forgiving Someone Does Not Absolve Them

When you propose someone choose forgiveness, you are often met with an uncomprehending, "Are you kidding?  After all the things he did to me."

Yes, choose forgiveness.  Forgiving someone does not absolve him of what obligations he may owe to the world or release him from the penalties of the law.  Forgiveness is not about him.  It is about you.  When you choose to forgive, you are saying to yourself, "I recognize the harm that was done to me.  I have been angry or resentful towards that transgressor for a long time.  But, I no longer want to anchor my life or focus my life on that person and what he did to me.  I want to be set free.  I want to leave all that behind me.  I want to stop living in the past and begin living today.  I want to begin looking towards the future.  In a sense, I want the dead to bury the dead."

Choosing to forgive is a one-sided decision.  It does not even have to include any sort of reconciliation with the offender. Choose forgiveness and begin a new life.