We all commit mistakes in life, to the point of sometimes hurting other people unjustly. When we realize this, after asking God for forgiveness, we should also ask the people affected for forgiveness, and offer to repair the damage caused the best we can, if it can be repaired.
ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS
Asking others for forgiveness is a duty, not an option, to be carried out as soon as we realize our wrongdoing.
This is as important as to ask God for forgiveness.
When we hurt someone, it is not only an evil act done to another fellow human being, but it is also a fault against God. They both need to know we are sorry and that we are determined to compensate for the damage we have caused.
WHEN SOMEONE DOES NOT WANT TO FORGIVE YOU
However, in certain circumstances, the hurt we caused will be traumatic and hard to forgive by many, specially if they are not believers. These people are themselves so far away from God, that their nature is hardened, becoming implacable and unforgiving.
Anger and desire for revenge will consume them, and will not be able to accept apologies or to forgive, but only the pursuit of satisfaction, emotional and material, their own way, which usually will be by inflicting the same o more pain on the one who initially wrong them.
People like that, will not accept your plea for forgiveness.
“If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
When Lord Jesus said that, He was referring to the repentance of the listener. It does not speak of the reaction of the one you are going to ask forgiveness from.
Jesus implies that once you come and ask for forgiveness, that person will accept your apologies and forgive you. The unforgiving type is not taken into account because he has an independent will from yours and a personal responsibility before God to forgive you.
If he does not, HE IS AT FAULT, NOT YOU.
FORGIVING IS A DUTY, NOT AN OPTION
The human duty to forgive others is rooted in the fact that everyone is a sinner, and we all need God’s forgiveness before everyone else.
Lord Jesus was clear, that a person should be forgiving, and if not, he will suffer the consequences of his hardened heart. At the time of personal judgement, he will encounter God equally unforgiving and that will be a terrible outcome.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Everyone sins. We all sin.
When we honestly and with repentant heart go and ask another person to forgive us; God has seen that attitude, and counted it on your favour.
If the one you are asking forgiveness from, chooses not to forgive you, that is not your fault. You are forgiven.
Once you have confessed and asked God for forgiveness; and you have done what is in your part to ask for forgiveness and repair somehow the best you can for the loss you caused; It is done, it is forgiven.
Because ultimately, forgiveness is not based on a human saying Yes or No. It is based on the Atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross for all humanity. It is based on Jesus’s blood and pain.