Jesus said, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." Luke 18.1
This is the attitude to have. Forgive limitlessly.
Forgiving others keeps me free of the burden of unforgiveness. Why add burdens to your faith life? Besides it obstructs the relationship between you and God. God may not forgive your sins unless you forgive others their sins against you.
Stephen, when being stoned to death, prayed "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." Acts 7.60 That is from a man strong in faith and with God's outlook. Exactly right.
Jesus said, love "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your father in heaven." Matthew 5.44. Stephen did that. When I pray for those who trouble me, I find myself more loving towards them and more positive. Their attitude to me may also change for the better.
What about when I sin? I ask God to forgive me, and He does instantly, and forgets it right away.
When the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, it is what I want because then I can confess it to God and not carry it around anymore. It is always good when the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin, since it is done graciously, inwardly and privately. The best way. It is the norm for me to ask God to forgive me all my sins before I sleep each night.
There are those who sin against you and do not sincerely repent, but continue to be a thorn in your side.
God gave me this verse. "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful, he is self-condemend." Titus 3.10,11 Of course, I don't literally warn the person at all. But I aim to minimise time spent with the person. Have nothing to do with them if circumstances permit. This is not for everyone to follow, but it has happened a few times in my life. Usually after many years of contact and praying for someone.
Circumstances, prayers and the after-effects of prayer tell me that this person is against me and no matter how much I pray for that person, he will continue being my enemy.
Forgive, but learn from the experience.
Michael Hume. Christian since 1987, and in a daily personal relationship with Jesus. A freelance writer. abelongs to author.