I've been thinking about forgiveness lately.
Remember when you were younger, and would fight with your siblings or a friend? Your parents would break it up, tell one of you to apologize "like you mean it" and then tell the other to respond with "I forgive you." There was really nothing genuine about the exchange; it's just what you were "supposed" to do.
I wonder if we're still stuck in that mentality today when it comes to forgiveness. The thing that's been floating around in my head is this:
There is no ignorance in true forgiveness.
If there is not an acknowledgement and general understanding of what you're forgiving, even if layers of it will be realized over years of healing, that's not real forgiveness. That's passivity, avoidance, and disingenuous peace-making that benefits nobody - namely you. Recognizing hurt is the foundation to healing. If you can't do that, forgiveness doesn't really happen.
When God offered us forgiveness, it wasn't in ignorance. It wasn't a blanket, "I am offering you forgiveness for everything you may do in the future." God KNEW. He knew the specific ways we'd sin against Him in this life, from our actions to our thought life, and it is within knowing that that He forgives. That's true forgiveness.
As Christians, we should forgive others, but that doesn't mean we are to be dismissive about the wrongs and their impact. It requires us to recognize all of that, and forgive anyway.
And if that takes time... well, that's ok.