For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Forgiveness means we should not wish or plan bad things for the one who transgresses against us. We should love and bless them. But it does not mean they are worthy of our trust. And if they continue to manipulate or abuse us we are not obligated to allow them to continue unhindered.
It might mean that we should be cautious.
But we should never be the means of harming someone. Sometimes in spite of our warnings, they may continue on an unwise path by themselves.
The question was merged with this one " How can I forgive someone who continues to wrong me without remorse?" Reading through the situation described, I wonder if the questioner is saying "if I forgive them for their ongoing attempts to manipulate me and make me feel guilty and responsible, as part of this am I obligated to comply with their demands?"
I would say, yes, forgive them, but no, do not allow them to manipulate your faith to get what they desire.
However, I would very much to hear what other, wiser Christians have to say.
I often was told this, by wiser Christians. People will always hurt us, intentionally or unintentionally. We have a choise, forgive or not. If we chose not to, it really doesn't phase the person that wronged us but the root of bitterness grows deeper and deeper in us. We get the loss of sleep, ulcers, well you get my drift, as the other person happily goes about their life. So in reality, you are forgiving the wrongdoer more for you than them. Some people I have prayed for many years and have almost completely forgiven them. Heck, most I pray for bow. But every now and then Satan, or something dark reminds me and I have to pray hard. And if someone cuts me off, or is slow in front of me while driving, I think "perhaps an Angel is helping me out and keeping me from having an accident by slowing everything down. Just remember though, when you bury the hatchet, don't leave the handle sticking out so you can use it whenever you feel like it against the person you forgave. Jesus said forgive someone 7 times 70 I think it was. But this does not mean that you allow someone to keep hurting or stealing from you. Learn, forgive and move on. God throws our transgressions in the Sea of forgetfulness, never to be remembered again. As far as East is from West. If God can forgive me, well should I do my best to forgive those who have wronged me?
Mr Truelove, If you don't trust them you haven't forgiven them.
Saying that you've forgiven someone is a simple as mouthing the words. Actually forgiving someone who has really hurt you is a very different ordeal. I don't mean if someone cuts you off in traffic, or steals a parking space by cutting in front of you. I mean when you're arrested, charged, convicted, and put in prison for something you know nothing about. Mouthing platitudes won't cut it for this kind, you must have an altar on which to lay that kind of sacrifice.
That's what happened to Joseph. (Read Genesis 39:11-20) If he complained it isn't recorded in scripture.
He interpreted a cupbearer's dream and asked him to remember him when he was released from prison, to mention him to the Pharaoh, and tell the king he was innocent of the crime for which he was in prison. He forgot about Joseph when he was released. Joseph didn't grumble about it. When he was reunited with his brothers and had the chance to get revenge for what they'd done to him, he provided for them instead (Gen 45:11).
HOW could he forgive his brothers when they had caused him to lose some of the best years of his life?
Genesis 45:8 - "It was not you who sent me here, but God."
I believe that to be the attitude of a person who trusts that God is sovereign over all of life.
Job had that attitude: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away." The offender is robbed of any power they might have thought they had over the offended, and forgiven