Originally posted by @divegeester
Someone does something to hurt us and we know we should forgive because that’s the best way to get rid of the angst, but how. How is it possible to let the angst go just by saying, or thinking, “I forgive you?”
There is no forgiveness without repentance. Not a "Sunday School" concept of repentance, but true repentance with the standard given by God in the following:
21“But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. 22None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them.
27But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. 28Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die.
29Yet the Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Are my ways unjust, people of Israel? Is it not your ways that are unjust? 30“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. 31Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.
Why will you die, people of Israel? 32For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
The gospel preached by Jesus during His ministry is consistent with this standard of repentance.
With this standard of repentance an individual truly has "a new heart and a new spirit". The former person has died and ceases to exist. Basically the person has been "born again" and is a different person. The new person can and should be viewed as just that - new and different. And "None of the offenses they have committed [should] be remembered against them."
Conceptually this all makes sense, but seems to be lost on the vast majority of Christians. They believe in a different standard of repentance. The believe in a different gospel.