This is one of my favorite interactions in the bible with Jesus. It shows how merciful our Lord is and how important it is to forgive not only ourselves, but others. But this isn't about forgiving other people entirely. Although it is very important that we not hold anything against another person, unless we want God to do the same for us...I get more excited about the Father's forgiveness.
''The Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king whoe wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he has begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, hi lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' "And the lord of that slave felt compassin and released him and forgave the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and begun to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' "But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the tortureres until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."' Matthew 18:21-35.
The Father will forgive us EVERY TIME we come to him and beg for mercy! Do you realize how amazing that is? I know people "know" this, but do they KNOW this? If something you've done is so terrible that no one could possibly forgive you, even yourself, the Lord is WAITING to forgive you! That's as true as what Jesus was telling Peter. The Lord WAITS for us to come to Him and ask for forgiveness, He doesn't just give it to us. We don't have to pay for His forgiveness, all we have to do is call Him Lord and love Him. Jesus paid for the Lord's forgiveness when He died at Calvary's cross...and He paid for our communication with God when He rose from the dead.
We have to forgive others for our OWN salvation. If you don't want the Lord to hold your sin against you, you CAN NOT hold someone else's sin against them. People are as imperfect as you are to Christ. Just as we hurt the Father, people hurt us and we hurt people. It's not about what you did to hurt the person, but what THEY did to forgive you. And what YOU DO to forgive yourself. And what you ASK God to forgive you for. Crazy things happen in life and bad decisions are made DAILY! But the BEST decision you can make, is to give it over to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and GIVE forgiveness.
In a way, we all control our "destiny." Not like we decide the ultimate course, but we decide if we are a FORGIVEN people or a UNFORGIVEN people. You are completely forgiven as soon as you have forgiven completely. So stop holding out on your forgiveness because you won't forgive someone else. Your grudge will NEVER be worth your salvation! And your conscience will never be lifted if you NEVER ask the Lord to help you. With God, comes freedom! Without God, brings slavery.
Hope this blesses someone! :o)