Just as casting your cares doesn’t work if it is not done from the heart, so too does forgiveness not work if it’s just a rote mental exercise

Many Christians feel sure that they’ve forgiven everyone who’s offended them, but when confronted with that person the old feelings of anger, bitterness and outrage return

That’s because it hasn’t been done from the heart

Godly sorrow is necessary for your own repentance, and heartfelt forgiveness is necessary to release you from the bondage of unforgiveness

Forgiveness doesn’t release the offender from God’s judgment, it releases you from the anger which provides an opening for Satan to exploit

Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” (Hebrews 10:30

What are the consequences for a lack of true forgivenessGod won’t forgive you!

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6:14)

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)

Then Peter came to Jesus and said, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him, up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy times seven(Matthew 18:21-22)

Lack of forgiveness is like a cancer or a poison in our bodies

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled. (Hebrews 12:14-16)

A root of bitterness will make you spiritually and physically ill, and will defile your relationship with others

Forgive from the heart and then ask the Lord Jesus to remove any root of bitterness that may have sprung up within you