What to do when forgiveness is expressed but not really shown

QUESTION: What should a believer do when they wrong another believer, yet that person refuses to extend forgiveness in an evident way, even though they said they have forgiven the offense? Super hard to figure out how to navigate around someone who is acting as if they are okay when you know they're seething with hate and bitterness.

A: The majority of Christians realize that forgiveness toward others is commanded of all who are called by the name of Jesus, so they may quickly say, "I forgive you" when wronged but the hard reality of walking out the footsteps of forgiveness quickly surfaces.

As the one who confessed wrongdoing and sought forgiveness, it behooves you to walk in patience toward your wounded brother or sister and to pray for God's healing grace. God is undoubtedly dealing with their heart as well, so ask Him to complete His good work and bring glory to Himself through it. Here's a suggested prayer:

"Lord I know that it's easy to say the words, 'I forgive you' but extremely hard to live and love as if the person who hurt me is truly forgiven. My brother/sister is struggling with this right now, and they need your help to work through the hurt and pain. Help me not to take their negative attitude toward me personally, and to show my love for them whenever You give me the opportunity. As always Lord, be glorified through our lives in the name of Jesus Your Son."

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