After reflecting on my last point, I thought of a few additions to the concept.
Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
First, remember that forgiveness does not depend upon an apology. Whether or not your transgressor decides to, wants to, or realizes he needs to apologize, forgive. Be the one to start the process of solving a conflict. The action shows you are strong, resilient, and kindhearted (all qualities of our Lord).
Second, not all conflicts require a face-to-face apology (or e-apology, phone call, etc.). Sometimes it's best to let it go on your own and move on. In situations where telling someone you forgive them would only rile up and provoke them, keep it to yourself. In those situations, consider the act of forgiveness a personal goal. Forgive the other in your heart and move past it. It will be a weight off your shoulders.
Also, realize that forgiving someone else will often benefit you more than the other person. Why not help yourself and release the stress? Who cares if forgiving someone in your heart means they don't KNOW that you forgave them? It shouldn't matter. You are the one who needs to learn the act of forgiveness. If we wish to be more Christ-like, we should learn to practice one of his greatest actions... forgiveness of sins.
Remember 1 Corinthians 3:15, love keeps no record of wrongs. When you forgive someone, even though you won't forget what they did, if you have truly forgiven them you won't throw it back in their face when you see fit. Don't forgive your boyfriend for forgetting your anniversary and then yell "remember that time...!!" when he upsets you again. If you have forgiven someone, it means you move PAST it... you don't revert back to it when you want to make a point. True forgiveness will eliminate your resentment... Think of it as a pot of water: Forgivness is not just letting it simmer down for now only to turn the heat up so it can come to a rolling boil later. It means you pour the water down the drain... or under the bridge so to say. You let it go like "water off a duck's back." The water ain't on the oven, it's not chillin' in the fridge, you didn't filter it out and pour it in the bottle... Down the drain, folks. Gone.
Finally, eliminate the word "deserve" from your vocabulary... at least in this instance. People don't need to earn your forgiveness with an apology. They often don't deserve your forgiveness... we don't deserve the forgiveness our awesome God grants us. But he gives it... just as you should. When you argue that someone doesn't "deserve" your forgiveness, you are probably whining. Certainly, there are cases when the transgressor messed up BAD and they don't deserve an ounce of your forgiveness. But you will be better for granting it. Just remember how amazing your God is to forgive you of all your sins. He can right our wrongs and make our path straight. Have a heart the pleases God: a heart the forgives the sinful. A wise preacher once told me that the rewards we receive are incredible when we actively try to develop our relationship with Christ. He is so right, so show the Lord that you wish to please him. Prove that you are able and willing to forgive others, even though they may not deserve it.
Forgiveness is a skill we learn and develop... it needs fine tuning. Tonight I pray you find the will power to develop this skill and please God with your efforts.
May God Bless You All,