For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things for me to do. I do not generally take offense at things people do, or hold things against them. But that is to a large extent because I do not easily develop close relationships with other people. It is hard for another person to hurt my heart if I haven’t exposed it to them. The challenge for me is when I have attempted to develop a close relationship with someone, who continually disappoints me, and seems not to care. The hurt goes deep then, and I find it nearly impossible to let go entirely. There remains a small handful of people from my past that I cannot think of without remembering the hurt. I wish them no ill, but neither do I want to have anything to do with them. And I cannot think of them without remembering the hurt.
Some people tell me that I do not need to forgive those who have hurt me if the other party is not seeking forgiveness. But that is not a qualification that Jesus gives here. He tells me to forgive, period. And, just as important, my lack of forgiveness does not really hurt the other person, but it does hurt me. That wound is always lurking below the surface, waiting an opportunity to poison my thoughts. Please pray for me to be able to let go, to forgive, and to heal. And at the same time, be careful to forgive those who hurt you. Don’t let unforgiveness poison your spirit.