For ourselves, we rely on God's Mercy for forgiveness for our sins, each time we confess our repentance and are truly sorry, we will received God's absolution and our sins are wiped away. This through the Death of Jesus, whose sacrifice defeated sin for ever. Col 3:13. Mat 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4. Eph 4:31-32. 1 John 1:9.
As part of this show of his Grace to us, God commands us to also forgive the sins of others against us, Jesus gave us in the Lords Prayer, when he answered his disciples questions about how to pray?
But how easy is it to forgive, not just other who hurt us through sin, or to forgive ourselves when we have hurt others?
Rowan Williams spoke and wrote about forgiveness in his book "Being a Disciple" Chap 3. in his meditation on the Lord's prayer.
He,” begins with a meditation on the Lord’s Prayer:“Discipleship,” is a state of being. Discipleship is about how we live—not just the decisions we make, not just the things we believe, but a state of being.” In Being Disciples—a companion to the best-selling Being Christian—Williams offers biblically grounded wisdom for Christians at all stages of their journeys as disciples of Jesus.
The idea of asking someone for forgiveness isn't that straight forward. If they have been hurt by you, they might not be able to forgive immediately, but hopefully, in time and space, they might do so. And you might never know that they and you are reconciled, unless you ask again.The prayer poses a critical question to anyone who imagines that they can begin from a position of self-sufficiency; it affirms that to be in need of this ‘bread of truth’, in need of material or spiritual nurture, is in no way a failure but, on the contrary, a place of dignity. The prayer both challenges the arrogance of those who think they are not in need and establishes that the needy are fully possessed of a treasure that needs to be uncovered and released—the humanity that draws them into mutual relation.
The greater difficultly is if you are unable to trust in God's grace when you need to forgive yourself for your actions that have hurt others. Accepting that grace, freely given, if you are truly penitent, may be as difficult for you as for the person, who you are needing forgiveness from.
I know that I have been there in the past and eventually came to see that forgiving myself, was key to my spiritual and mental well being. I took strength from Col 1:13-14
Do you have a bible verse that gives you such consolation?For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.