There's a principle in forgiveness that's called restitution. Usually the first thing you think of is financial restitution. If I've wronged somebody, sinned against someone, taken money or possessions from them and I recognize that I've been wrong, then I need to go back and not only ask for GOD's forgiveness and I need to give them the million dollars back or whatever. That's not right. You don't get to keep the money.
I've found in life that far more often than financial restitution it's relational. If I walk in the door at the end of a long day and Stef, my daughter says, "Look, Daddy, at how clean my room is" and I just walk by it without even looking at it. "Great job, honey" – I lie to her. I go and set down at the computer. About half an hour later the LORD nudges my heart "Bill, that was wrong. You didn't even look at that. You didn't give her a minute of attention." I say, "LORD, I'm sorry, forgive me." I'm not through with forgiveness, yet, am I? I need to go to Stef, "I was wrong earlier. I didn't even look at your room. Would you forgive me?" Hopefully she'll put her arms around me and say, "Yes". I think that kind of forgiveness is a healthy part of relationships because we live with people who make mistakes. It's a healthy part of life.
If you could begin to get a hold of this and understand it, admit it when you're wrong. Let the principle of forgiveness begin to work in your relationship, it would open a floodgate of new fresh joy in our relationships. That's the barrier. This thing of forgiveness and unforgiveness – it is the barrier that's keeping many of our relationships from working.
Just a thought from the front porch…