Unjustly withholding forgiveness to whom it is due can have drastic repercussions on both personal relationships and civilization on a large scale. If we allow our anger to continually scorch our hearts, then we will only act bitterly and defile the people around us. The Scriptures clearly warn against not striving to live peacefully with other people (Ephesians 4:31-32; Hebrews 12:14-15), and for good reason. In fact, unchecked anger is defilement in itself. A contentious relationship cannot successfully thrive because it closes the gates of compromise. It blocks any entry of human reason. It constipates any influx of God's grace. Consequently, the situation will be rendered unworkable. Malice and strife can only hinder one from listening, and thereby from understanding the presented issues at hand. An unforgiving heart will only hold on to its subjective perception of reality. This is why the opposing sides of a vindictive matter tend to willfully misrepresent each other. At this moment, we have investigated the practical side of revealing clemency to the people who have repented of any possible mistreatment against us. Now, think of the aforementioned details in the context of family. This could lead to ruthless and unnecessary separation. It could lead to the destruction of property, and even lives. Allowing the flames of hatred to continually brew in our hearts can only lead up to the deterioration of good and moral values (these emotional fumes need to be quenched by the waters of God's mercy). Think of this scenario in the much broader spectrum of society, which comprises of families in different classes. This would only result in war. It would only result in hopeless anarchy. We need to admit when we are wrong. It can never be stated sufficiently that we should repent of past evils, and strive to be reconciled with each other.
What if a person is unable to forgive himself or herself for previously committed reprehensible deeds? Well, we are not required to forgive ourselves. God will bring them to a state of peace and forgiveness at the appointed time. What ultimately matters is that we accept the forgiveness of God as provided through the expiatory work of His Son Jesus Christ. What matters is that God lovingly provided us a way to escape eternal separation from Him in hell. We should find comfort in that fact. We should find joy in that fact. We should find peace in that fact. We should repent of our sins against God and each other. We should choose to forgive others, as God has chosen to forgive us for our trespasses against Him (Matthew 6:14-15). We should aim at being reconciled with each other, as God desires to be reconciled with us. We should not permit our emotions to prevent us from moving forward with our lives. We can assist the people who are struggling with the concept of forgiveness by simply making ourselves available listeners to those afflicted and by showing gentleness. To be in a constant state of anger, bitterness, and malice is not an earmark of Christian piety. It reveals a state of poor spiritual health. Forgiveness comes from the heart (Matthew 18:35). We should be inclined to forgive because God has forgiven us.
Having discussed what it means to forgive, why it matters, and the negative consequences of holding grudges, it nevertheless remains crucial to summarize the discussion in conclusionary format. Forgiveness springs forth from love, which constitutes the foundation of the Christian religion. Forgiveness is the very root of the gospel. It is because of God offering His Son Jesus Christ as the final propitiatory sacrifice that He is able to forgive and remove our iniquity from us. It is because of mercy that friendships can be restored. It is because of forgiveness that we are able to peacefully progress in our lives. It is because of forgiveness that the world even has a sense of tranquility. Forgiveness is a quintessential aspect of the Christian walk. It has never been morally permissible for us to display hatred and spite because it is contrary to the principles of the gospel. We know that allowing anger to brew in our hearts for prolonged periods of time will always have a negative aftermath. We should forgive, as God has forgiven us. However, this does not mean that we must tolerate or accept what other people have said or done to us. Cutting ties may certainly be a necessary safety precaution. We must repent from the heart of our sins, and offer forgiveness to those who have offended us in some way and also repented.