It is very important in the eyes of God that we forgive anyone who has wronged us. Forgiving people is the only condition that God has put down for our own sins to be forgiven by him.
Matthew 6:15 – But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
This does not mean that the work of forgiveness will save you, because we know that it is our faith that saves us by God’s grace. Though it would seem that a clear indicator for our spiritual condition would be our heart of forgiveness. We have been forgiven of so much, and at the very high cost of the perfect life of Jesus Christ being taken through torturous means. Therefore we grow, sometimes subtly and not so exponentially, toward a likeness of Christ’s heart of forgiveness for other people.
This does not mean that the wrong doers can keep repeating their offenses with no consequence. In fact God promises to deal with any injustice we have faced personally. So it is not up to us to judge them, seek revenge, or harbor bitterness.
God expects that his children forgive one another and let go of all bitterness, hatred, anger, etc. and be set free. In most cases, any offences committed against you last a few moments, but when you take matters into your own hands, the effects are much more prolonged, and whatever the outcome, it never gives you closure.
Unforgiveness in your heart can be a barrier for the Holy Spirit to fill you and complete a work in your life.
Forgiving people is not an emotion or feeling, its a conscious decision you make. Close your eyes, pray for strength and declare with your mouth that you forgive the people who wronged you. Be specific, and if possible include the reason for which you are forgiving them. Take some time doing this, pause and wait for people and images to be brought into your mind, and as they flash past, consciously forgive them.
Just doing this will give you a great sense of relief. At the end, thank God for helping you forgive these people. You will not completely forget what happened, but you will no longer be emotionally tied to the people or situations that hurt you.
It is our loss when we hold on to bitterness. We do not hurt the offender when we lose sleep over their actions. The only person who is hurt by our bitterness is ourselves.