I have, at different times in the past, struggled greatly with forgiving those who have wronged me or Jeff or our family or our reputation and character: people (all professing christians), even those I would have considered dear friends, who "said" they supported us or wanted the "best" for us and then became our worst fears with skin on. While I have prayerfully and only with God's help worked through a lot of that, there are still days when my mind spins unwittingly, and those familiar feelings of betrayal and deep hurt come rushing back.
Last week, as we remembered the death of Christ and celebrated His resurrection, I often found myself thinking about how betrayed and abandoned our Lord himself must have felt. One of his own turned him in for a mere thirty pieces of silver. Peter denied him not once, but three times. And when it came right down to the end, his remaining disciples, the eleven men whom he was closest to on this earth, ran. And yet his words on the cross were "Father, forgive them."
I know that, because we live in a fallen world, I will face these feelings of betrayal and hurt again, probably sooner than I'd like. Once more, I will begin the very painful process (and it is most certainly a process) of forgiveness, remembering that I do not have to forgive these people because they deserve it, but because I have been the blessed recipient of undeserved forgiveness myself.
If we find ourselves unable to forgive, it is because we have exaggerated others' offenses against us and minimized our offenses before God.