It's been four years since I've been to Florida. I remember every summer in middle and high school I'd fly to Orlando to spend a few weeks with my father and his side of the family. I recently took a trip to Florida to visit my dad and grandparents.
The past few days reminded me how essential forgiveness is for healthy relationships. Without forgiveness, people lose out on building, or rebuilding, authentic relationships. When we choose not to forgive, we choose to not heal. We intentionally allow the scab to fester and instead of heal, our wound gets infected. The more infected our wound, the more bitter our heart.

I believe it takes a certain level of ownership to forgive someone who was in the wrong and genuinely apologize even if it seems as though no wrong was done on our part. Every person needs to be forgiven and every person needs to forgive. Forgiveness ensures our peace.

God's forgiveness and grace is so powerful that it's most certainly the basis of why we pursue a relationship with Him. Same goes for the forgiveness we offer others—it opens the door for the other person to show interest in having an actual relationship, one that's based on love and not performance.