When the Bible says to forgive as you’ve been forgiven (Eph. 4:23), it’s not there to sound philosophical or poetic. It’s a big deal. There’s no new life without receiving forgiveness, and there’s no growing in that new life without giving it away freely. Every time someone offends you, there’s a choice: let it grow as a root of bitterness in your heart and mind, or give it to God through forgiveness and blessing, as often as you need to until it loses all power.
If you choose to justify your offense, be warned: when you won’t forgive someone, you’re actually submitting to their judgment of you. That may seem like a contradiction, but by focusing on how they’re hurting you, you’re giving them power over your thoughts and emotions. The more you obsess over it, the more it interferes with your relationship with God, and with who you are in him. Gaps open in your identity, which usually get filled in by pain, anger, and soul-consuming resentment. You become more like your accusers, rather than who God says you can be.
Don’t let how someone has lived, or not lived, rob you of fully living. Being offended just isn’t a good enough reason to abort your astonishing identity and unique journey in Jesus Christ. Nothing is.