I believe that the heart language of Heaven is the language of Forgiveness. Anyone can hold a grudge - it takes an effort to forgive. It is not a natural thing. In yesterday's text we see that Joseph didn't immediately seek to forgive his brothers...he had to come to it in time. You may be the same.
In my own life there have been times where forgiveness was not my first reaction and then their have been other times that the quickness to forgive was surprising even to me (how did I do that?). Forgiveness is a supernatural act and is a level of grace and mercy given by God to us as we choose to treat others the way he treats us.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)
A lack of forgiveness can be very harmful.
First, it can be very harmful for the person whom God asks to be forgiving. When you choose to hold a grudge or remain bitter, you are keeping a poison inside of you that God has told you to release. That produces bad side effects on the spiritual, emotional and physical levels.
Second, it is a hard thing to not receive forgiveness from someone you have wronged. When a person withholds forgiveness from you after you have repented of the wrong it can be difficult. Not only does it hinder the repair of that relationship but it can cause doubts/fears to hinder future relationships as well.
Must we wait for a person to ask for forgiveness before we grant it? No. Is it nice when a person comes to us and admits a wrong and asks to restore a relationship. Sure. As a follower of Jesus we do not have to withold the grace that God has put in our hearts until all the surrounding circumstances are 'just right'. We can pour that grace out and see the surrounding circumstanced be improved by it. Your forgiveness can be the difference maker in the relationships around you.
Can you become a forgiver like Joseph? Or like our God? Are there people in your life that need to receive your forgiveness but haven't yet?