Paul writes, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
Here's what I know about forgiveness. Easy to know - hard to practice.
Forgiveness is releasing another person from my own personal judgement.
I refuse to judge them.
Now that doesn't mean that I agree or condone or approve of what they have done. Or what they have said. It means that I will not act as their judge. I will not pronounce a "guilty verdict" on them.
You my retort, "but they were wrong." "They hurt me".
I understand that, I have been hurt many times also, but it means they will not stand under my own personal judgement. I release them.
I let them go. I leave them in God's hands. Paul writes in Romans 12:19, "It is mine to avenge; I Will repay, says the Lord."
And because God is going to repay, I don't have to.
In God's scheme of things, when I bring someone else under my judgement, I come under His judgement.
If I forgive, I will be forgiven.
Judge not, and I will not be judged.
I am to release people from my own personal judgement.
We all, in the body of Christ, need to be assured that when we fail, others will forgive us. Otherwise, we find it tough to be open and real with one another.
Sooner or later, I will disappoint you (if I haven't already).
I will fail you.
Not intentionally, but unintentionally.
I am imperfect, I'm still under construction and I would suspect you are to.
We all must know that when we do fail one another, we will not condemn each other because our weaknesses and flaws and sins have begun to show.
It's called Grace.