I'd say probably the hardest thing for me in my new Christian walk was learning how to forgive. As much as I hate to admit it, I used to be a real grudge-holder. I'd get mad and I'd stay mad at someone long after I should have let the incident go and restored my relationship with that person. Instead, I was so blinded by my hurt and anger that I often times wrote off these individuals and moved on. I now really wish I hadn't.
I used to believe that forgiveness was just a means to open up the door to allow yourself to be trampled upon again in the same way. In a way I guess it kind of is. After all, when you look at God as the ultimate forgiver, we trample upon him daily with our sin, and in a lot of cases our repeated sin. Yet God still chooses to forgive us and is able to because he sent his one and only son to take upon himself the sin of the world and pay the price for that sin. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully understand that kind of forgiveness, but of course, I'm not God, so I only have a finite understanding of anything.
However, more than anything, as I've learned forgiveness is just as much about you as it is the other person.
When someone close to you hurts or offends you, deep down you still love that person very much. I think this is largely true of close friends and family members. I know for a fact my unforgiveness over the tiniest, most petty things has cost me big in the grand scheme of things. Now I realize how silly some of our arguments were, and how ridiculously stupid I was for letting those tear my past friendships apart. Further, I know harboring hatred toward some individuals and dwelling on their transgressions against me has only served to make me miserable, most notably my father. He was probably the hardest person to grant forgiveness to, after everything he's done to me, and I just wish we would have made peace before his passing. No, I still wouldn't have donated a kidney to him, I wouldn't have been able to personally, and I don't feel guilty for not. I do, however, feel guilty for not trying to forgive him before he passed.
Now I understand why God calls us to forgive others as he forgives us. It is for our own good as well as the good of the other person. Forgiveness doesn't always come easy, don't get me wrong. However, I truly believe that it is in our best interest to forgive, and praise God for his infinite graciousness and forgiveness that we may have eternal life!Do you have a hard time forgiving others? Why do you think that is? What can we do to be more forgiving people?