And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 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.
One thing about forgiveness that took me a long time to figure out is that forgiveness is NOT excusing or justifying the wrongdoing. It is NOT minimizing the hurt feelings that were caused.
Forgiving is simply (or not so simply) choosing to let go of anger, resentment and hatred.
Forgiveness is a choice. It is a decision to no longer hold an act against the other person as a means of punishment. The other person almost always suffers in one way or another, whether it is from guilt or from the consequences of their actions.
But forgiveness is only a little about the other person and a lot about ourselves. Therefore, true forgiveness cannot be conditional. We can’t decide to forgive only if. Only if you apologize. Only if you say you’ll never do it again.
In light of our new beginning, God commands that in return, we forgive others and extend grace as we have been shown grace. It can be one of the hardest things we face in life! The pain and hurt others cause us is real and great. But, the pain of living with bitterness and unforgiveness can poison your soul and destroy you. When we forgive others, we are not saying what they did was OK, but we are releasing them to God and letting go of it’s hold on us.
But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5