If you do not forgive, you may get in the way of the work God is trying to do in the other person's life.
"Early in my divorce process," says Laura Petherbridge, "I was thinking of people I know who have gone through divorce and years later are still very bitter. I prayed, 'God, I don't want to end up a bitter woman, but I don't know how to let it go because the hurt is so deep. Please show me how to resolve this resentment.'
"I learned to pray for the 'other woman,' which probably seems like an impossible thing. It was not by my own strength. Something deep within me knew my own healing would come. I asked God to help me to see her as He views her. I began to see her as a lost person who believed that taking another woman's husband would make her feel better about herself. She was no longer my enemy, but instead an empty woman without God in her life. The bitterness began to melt away."
When you forgive, you allow God to work in the other person's life. Choosing to walk in obedience has a net positive effect on you and on people around you. Keep persevering in prayer for those who have hurt you. As Paul says in Philippians, "Keep pressing on."
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).