"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you" -CS Lewis
Yikes. That hits hard--probably for a lot of people. It's interesting that he chose the words he did. I always see things like "you have to forgive because God forgave you" - Well, yeah yeah I know. I do... But CS Lewis clarifies just what you are supposed to forgive--and why. The INEXCUSABLE. I don't know about many of you but I certainly had an inexcusable act(s) that I had to forgive in recent years and it is NOT EASY. But nothing worth doing is easy. Why is it worth forgiving an inexcusable act(s)? Because by not forgiving--by holding a grudge, by continuing to harbor bitterness and hatred--we only harm ourselves. "Hate" is not a God-word--it's a devil word. Hate (and by extension, bitterness)is an instrument of the devil that will eat you from the inside out. You feel hate, and don't want to, and maybe you ask God to deliver you from feeling hate and bitterness, but He won't until you forgive.
I try not to speak about things I have no experience with, so I'm saying all this from a perspective of been there, done that, doing that still. The hatred and bitterness I felt was eating me from the inside out. It ate away at my hope, trust, faith, love, and then my soul. And in the mean time was starting to hit the outside too. I hate to destroy any perpective some of you may have of me being a good little Christian girl, but I spent a good 2-4 years off and on doing things that shouldn't be done because I allowed the hate to destroy me. How bad could it really have gotten? Let's just say pretty bad and I'm an extremely lucky young woman. It went on and on until one awful morning the "rooster crowed three times" and the Truth slammed into me like a freight train in a long dark tunnel. I couldn't find my way back without accepting I needed to forgive...because let's face it, my life wasn't exactly the epitomy of spotless. God forgave my inexcusable acts and thoughts, so I had to forgive others' inexcusable acts. It's not easy. It's hard. Even now I still have to forgive every day. I continuously forgive day after day for the same exact thing because if I don't, the hate will come back and I refuse to go down that road again. I've backslid and it's not a good feeling, so as difficult as it may be at times, I have to keep my head up and eyes, mind, heart, and soul focused.
So I encourage you, as hard as it may be--as hurt as you are, as broken as you feel--forgive. You can't fully ever recover if you don't forgive. You can't grow in relationship with God if you harbor ill-will and hatred and bitterness...and you can only fake it for so long. Trust me.