One of the worst feelings in the world is that of being scammed or robbed. It's a sickening feeling of violation, betrayal, and helplessness, especially when the robbery is beyond the capability to recover. You fight to make things right, but your efforts are futile. The thief is never found. There's no proof. The item is gone. The person refuses to make things right.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them....Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
A question I’ve struggled with many times, is what does it mean to forgive someone who is unrepentant and unchanged? Someone who may have done serious and genuine evil, but refuses to acknowledge it, has never apologized (or maybe offered a half-hearted, self-justifying apology), and has carried on with their life as if nothing happened? Who continues to avoid blame or responsibility, even years after the original offense? Who continues in their harmful behaviour, to you or to others?
This is certainly not an authoritative guide. I’ve had to do a lot of forgiveness, and this is what I’ve found works for me.
1. Recognize the need to forgive
This may seem obvious, but often it’s not. We may be suffering from anger, depression, and hurt over offenses that happened many years ago. Often facing those buried issues from the past and forgiving is the key to releasing that pain.
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Out of all of Jesus’ difficult teachings, this is one of the most difficult. It sounds very wonderful and noble in theory, and even non-followers of Jesus admire it. But in practice, it is one of the most difficult to carry out because it goes so contrary to our human nature. It’s nice to read about it, not so nice to have to do it.