If you are a believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, you have the obligation and power to forgive others.  You should not forgive yourself for not forgiving others.  You can forgive…and the Lord requires that you forgive. 

Let’s consider the obligation to forgive others.  We read in Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Peter seemed to be looking for a limit to the forgiveness he should have towards others.  Seven times seemed reasonable to him, but the Lord showed Peter the heart of a true believer…he should continue to forgive others.  Seven times seventy is, of course, 490, but the lesson the Lord is giving is that we should simply continue to forgive. 

In Mark 11:25 the Lord Jesus says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”  Again, the necessity of forgiveness is taught here.  A believer on the Lord Jesus has had all their sins forgiven, but in a practical sense of continuing fellowship with the Lord, that fellowship is broken when we are hard-hearted towards others and refuse to forgive them.  Forgiveness towards others is required to maintain a good relationship with the Lord. 

Let’s consider the power to forgive others.  Colossians 3:12-13 tells us, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: EVEN AS CHRIST FORGAVE YOU, SO ALSO DO YE.”  We also read in Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER, EVEN AS GOD FOR CHRIST’S SAKE HATH FORGIVEN YOU.”  Our dear savior has forgiven us!  What a wonderful example we have of how to forgive others.  It was the love of God towards us that caused Him to send His Son into this world so that He might die for our sins…and give us the undeserved forgiveness of our sins we needed so desperately.  Believers know the forgiveness of God.  We have the ability to extend that forgiveness to others.

If you have not forgiven others for their sins against you, then you have sinned…for you have refused to obey God’s Word.  We have seen both the obligation and power to forgive others.  In your refusal to forgive, you now need to seek the Lord’s forgiveness for your disobedience.  Let us read 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  This is not a verse about salvation.  This is a verse instructing Christians about their necessity to confess their individual sins to the Lord to maintain a good and wholesome relationship with Him.  You have not forgiven others, so confess that sin to the Lord.  Do not try to explain it away or excuse it.  We are instructed to forgive, so simply acknowledge that sin before the Lord.  What will he do?  He will forgive you and He will cleanse you from that act of unrighteousness. 

Instead of forgiving ourselves for our past faults and sins, we should seek the Lord’s forgiveness, then we can truly forgive ourselves…and cease from that sin.  Psalm 86:5 says, “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”  Our Lord stands ready to forgive.  Seek His forgiveness and then follow the Lord and be ready to forgive others.  (CC)  (533.2)