When asking for forgiveness, the world has an expression they frequently use. They say, “Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?” But to paraphrase an old saying, they are asking others to look for forgiveness in all the wrong places!
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9).
Any forgiveness that someone finds there is likely to come with conditions and many strings attached.
If you are finding it difficult to forgive someone, rather than trying to find it in your heart, find it in God’s grace.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
Perhaps you are thinking, “Pastor, you don’t know how this brother/sister offended me.” It’s true, I don’t. But was it more than how your sins offended God? Yet He forgave all of your sins by His grace, and now asks you to forgive by grace. God was “satisfied” with the payment Christ made on the cross for their offense (Isa. 53:11), and has forgiven them for what they did to you. If you fail to forgive them by God’s grace, that means your standards are higher than His.
So don’t be like the world, looking for forgiveness in all the wrong places. If your brother’s sin “abounded” against you, let God’s grace “much more abound” (Rom. 5:20), even as it did when God forgave you. “Receive not the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1). Let it abound in your life to others. Be a grace believer in the highest sense of the name. source