In what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus told us to pray the following:
…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.*
So what keeps us from being forgiving?
There are two core reasons why we struggle to forgive.
Pride often looks like superiority over others but it can also show up in the belief that you are too bad to be saved. If we consider ourselves better than others, we don’t have to forgive others – they don’t deserve it. Believing we are unforgivable is also pride. What the person is saying is that they can’t simply accept freely given forgiveness; they have to earn it through their own efforts. A prideful heart tends to hold back forgiveness towards others until they show the appropriate level of remorse, repentance, guilt, etc.
The other reason is amnesia: We simply forget what Christ has done for us.
Maybe you have pride. Maybe you have amnesia. Maybe you have both. Please hear this: the answer is not for you to get your act together, pull up your socks and start being a good person.
The answer is not in ourselves.