Hanging on the cross, dying, Jesus prays, "Father forgive them. They don't know what they are doing." Doing so shows us that true kingship is exercised not in power but in forgiveness, grace, and mercy. It shows us that we should not wait until people ask for forgiveness before we offer. It also means that forgiveness is not optional.
If you are like me, you would prefer to be able to pick and choose whether or not to forgive, who to forgive or not to. Those who wish to follow Jesus don't have that option.
And if we are to practice forgiving others, we must do the hard work of forgiving ourselves too. That work may be the most difficult because of the standard that we hold for ourselves, for the hatred we nurse against ourselves, because of our own brokenness. But if we are to be a forgiving presence in the world, that forgiveness must start in our own hearts.
What do you need to forgive in yourself? How can you let go of it?