Living in harmony demands that from time to time we are going to have to either ask for forgiveness or we are going to have to forgive. Because of our sin natures, there is simply no way around it.
If you have hurt someone: ASK for forgiveness.
When you know your words or actions have hurt someone, it is your responsibility to apologize. (Psalm 32:3-5)
If you have been hurt by someone (your responsibility is to): OFFER FORGIVENESS. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
The standard for forgiveness is not the crime committed against you, it is the cross where God forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-15)
If you can, overlook an offense. (Proverbs 19:11, Ephesians 4:1-3, Colossians 3:13, 1 Peter 4:8-9)
Sometimes we just need to have a quick talk with God when someone has said something or done something against us and we just need to release that back to God.
Always forgive, regardless of the severity or the frequency. (Matthew 18:21-35)
Once we have been forgiven (through Christ’s death on the cross”), we are obligated to continue extending forgiveness.
If the issue or offense is complicated, or you have questions that this message didn’t answer, consider speaking to a pastor or elder or counselor or trusted mature Christian friend, or if you are a reader, to read a book like Charles Stanley’s Forgiveness.