It may not be easy, but it is not impossible. Holding grudges is a weight that becomes heavier and heavier over time. It's a great feeling to unload the burden of being unforgiving. The one who has hurt or offended may not be sorry. They may not regret the hurt they've caused. They may never apologize. There may never be restoration or reconciliation. But there's great relief in casting off the weight of resentment and bitterness. God is gracious and merciful, and offers the ultimate example for Christians to follow.
"He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."( Psalm 103:10-12)
In Jeremiah 31:34 God says, "I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." God doesn't have memory loss, He chooses not to bring things back up. Forgiving someone means being willing to accept the mistake, look past it and start over. True forgiveness means making a commitment to never bring it up again.
In Matthew 18:21,22 Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven." Again, in Luke 17, Jesus taught, "ÂœIf your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."
Imagine. When the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross and set him between two criminals, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." What fantastic love! What an amazing and perfect example! For those who desire to be followers of Jesus, God's Word is clear.
"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Eph. 4:32)
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
God never fails to offer His divine forgiveness when His children come to Him with a repentant heart. He is faithful. He offers restoration, reconciliation, and He chooses not to remember the wrongdoings. God is our example and believers are to model His behavior to the world.
"He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea". (Micah 7:19)