“It” has been said:  “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison, hoping the other person will die.”  It sounds like an apt definition.  When we harbor something against another person, they color everything we do.  They become the uninvited guest at everything we do. 

We are not letting the other person off the hook, on the contrary, we are holding them accountable.  Forgiving someone requires we acknowledge they did something to us – something wrong.  We are choosing to view their actions as being harmful in some way in our lives, and we are choosing to take the necessary steps to stop allowing that harm to have a place in our lives.  It is not saying “that’s okay”, or “no harm done”.  If there was no harm done, then there is nothing to forgive.  You cannot have it both ways.

We are releasing them from any retribution on our part.  “Back in the day” (ooooooh how I hate that phrase!), if you did something to me, I would wipe out your whole family.  God came in and restricted it to an eye for an eye (Exodus 21:24), in other words you could only get revenge to the extent you were hurt.  Jesus came and completed the transition and said to forgive them.  To allow the appropriate authority to render the appropriate punishment, instead of carrying it out for yourself.

You are doing yourself a favor when you forgive someone else.  Not only do they stop living in your head rent free, but God is able to come in and forgive your sins too.

Double bonus points!!