Forgiveness is essential for good human relationships. You cannot give a hug with your arms folded.
Our forgiveness for others assures us of God's forgiveness for us. In Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV) Jesus said, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." The weight of unforgiveness greatly drags a person down. It is a tremendous load to carry in the race we're called to run.
When faced with the need to forgive and forget, never make the excuse, "But no one knows what that person did to me!" That may be true, but do you know what unforgiveness will do to you?
What really matters is what happens in us, not to us.
Unforgiveness leads to great bitterness, which is a deadly misuse of the creative flow from above. Great amounts of brain power are used up when you ponder a negative situation and plot how to get even. This kind of thinking is totally unproductive. People who burn bridges will be isolated and alone and will deal with neutrals and enemies the rest of their lives. That's why we should build bridges, not burn them. Vengeance is a poor traveling companion. Getting even always causes imbalance and unhappiness.
Never underestimate the power of forgiveness to free you to fulfill your calling. Forgiveness is the one power you have over a person who slanders or criticizes you. The farther you walk in forgiveness, the greater the distance you put between yourself and the negative situation.
Forgiveness gives you a spring in your spiritual walk and a second wind in the race of life.
-John Mason, from the book An Enemy Called Average