Somebody's going to pay for this!!! Have you ever heard that? Have you ever said that? It is usually said by someone who is extremely angry. They've been wronged and by golly, somebody should pay for it. If the person who wronged them and actually owes for the offense can't pay, then you have to pay. Let's look at some examples.
John was in a car accident. He was stopped at a red light and a car coming from behind failed to stop. John's car was totaled. The other driver doesn't have insurance despite regulations. He also has no money. John is determined that somebody should pay for his car. Wait a minute, he thinks. Ralph has insurance and money. I'll just sue him. So you are faced with court and lawyer fees for something you didn't do and had no control over.
Willie didn't pay his income taxes. He could have. He just chose to use his money to have a good time. (Sorry, couldn't resist this analogy.) Several benefits are held to raise money to help poor ole Willie out. Finally after several concerts, enough money was raised to pay his taxes. The country can rest easy now. Poor ole Willie can continue singing.
Louise visits her favorite dress shop about once a month and usually buys something. Last month she found the perfect dress for her daughter's wedding, but it was the wrong size. Louise asked the shop owner to order it in her size. When the dress was delivered, Louise was contacted and agreed to pick it up later that day. She got busy and forgot. The shop owner called the next day to remind her. Louise again agreed to pick it up later that day. Again she miscalculated her time and failed to make it by the shop. The third day she received another call from the shop owner. This call wasn't a reminder. It was an unprofessional shouting monologue. Louise was angry. She didn't deserve that treatment. She had been a customer for years. How dare she treat me that way? Louise thought as she determined to get even. She picked up the dress and gave the clerk instructions to put it on her bill. Yet as she did, she knew she wouldn't pay for it. The shop owner had been rude and needed to pay for her attitude.
Jane was the shop owner. She loved running the dress shop and interacting with the customers. She loved Louise. Louise was a good customer, but a little slow about paying her bill. She often needed several reminders before she paid for items she had purchased. This behavior irritated Jane, but what could she do? Jane had been reluctant to order the dress for Louise, but relented because it was for a special occasion. She had called twice to remind Louise about the dress. The third morning she arose from a sleepless night. The weather was bad and a wreck on the freeway caused her to be late opening the shop. Her umbrella broke as she walked up to the back door of the shop. The lock was stiff and difficult to open. She had asked her husband to fix it, but as usually he had gotten around to it. By the time she called Louise, she was ready for somebody to pay for her rotten day.
I know, I know. The first scenario is ridicules, but it got your attention. The other three seem to happen too often lately. Should we pay because someone else can't or won't? Should we expect someone else to pay because we can't collect what is owed to us?
That's what we do when we fail to forgive someone for an offense. They offended us and somebody needs to pay for it. So we allow it to change who we are and how we interact with others. Pretty soon we are taking our repayment out on others and we are no better than the person who offended us.
Is there someone you need to forgive? Yes, they mistreated you. No, you didn't deserve it. Maybe they did it intentionally, making it harder to forgive. Maybe they were trying to collect from you because someone offended them. Maybe they didn't even realize they had hurt you. The circumstance doesn't matter. The point is if you fail to forgive, you are allowing the incident to control you. Why not let God handle this for you? Forgive them and let Him take care of the rest. He is far more capable of rectifying wrongs than you are.