Forgiveness. Its a powerful force that we humans wield, to hold someone to their wrongs or release them from the guilt.
In reading through the Gospels I always love the dialogues between Jesus and Peter. Peter had a mouth on him. Always putting his foot in it too. And Jesus would just lay down a boom on him, and walk away. How many times do I have to forgive, Jesus? Can you put a limit on it for me, just so I have some guidelines?
Then when He taught us to pray, and He leads us through, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors." Wow...so it is linked that my own forgiveness from sins is tied to my forgiveness of others.
Joseph in Egypt standing in all the authority of Egypt's royal house, with the power to keep food from the very brothers who had sold away his life for a pittance, faced the dilemma. To forgive or not?
We can come up with any number of reasons to keep back the gift of forgiveness. But what if they do it again? They haven't even said sorry. He did this and that and this and its so very hard to let go of the pain.
Think of it this way. What if those same things God said of you when you were asking for His forgiveness? How would those questions be answered?
Forgiveness brings freedom, both for you and the person you forgive. When you forgive, there doesn't need to be a long hashing out of all the things that went wrong and all the hurt that remains. Those things stand bared. God knows and He sees all. Just forgive. Over and over and over. Every time. No matter what.