We forgive because God first forgave us, for His sake and for ours. If our offender admits what he did was wrong and asks for us to forgive, then the right response is, "I forgive you," not "You're forgiven."
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. Ephesians 4:32-5:1
What if the offender doesn't admit wrong doing? What if he doesn't ask for forgiveness? Forgive him in your heart, but don't go and say to him, "I forgive you." What good would that do? Release him from the pain. Do not let it fester inside you and cause more pain and bitterness.
But how? I don't feel like it. We cannot forgive in our own strength. That is why Jesus came.
I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and He helps me. Psalm 28:7I have found that forgiveness is a process, not a transaction. It happens at different levels and over a period of time. I may not be able to forget the pain, but I can forgive through the strength of Jesus Christ my Lord at work in me.
Father God, help me to forgive, even when I don't feel like it. Help me to be more like Jesus. Amen.