And forgive our debts, As we forgive our debtors
Psalm 51:4 NIV
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
However, I will speak for myself and from my experience on this. I was forgiven for my past sins but there were still consequences for my sins that affect my life. My thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and current relationships may be influenced by my past sins. For example, in my career, I treated many co-workers poorly. In many cases I was acting to make myself look better and get ahead no matter what the impact to others. Many times I got ahead at the expense of others.
There were things that others did to me that also impacted my life. Things I had buried in my subconscious and had completely forgotten about still affected my attitudes and behaviors resulting many time in sin. There were sins I could simply not be free of. Anger at certain things, lust for self exaltation, thinking I was better than others, and many other things affected my life.
As I began to pray I asked the Lord to reveal darkness in my heart. I found that things I had done or that others had done to me came to mind. I began to ask forgiveness for the specific sins I had committed and to the specific sins others had done to me. As I began this process I found my attitudes changing. Now I need to explain that some of these sins involved family members. Families are important in God's kingdom. A family is the model for and basic unit of the church. Forgiveness has an important role in family reconciliation.
I have more to say on forgiveness, however, I will develop the topic as a separate series of blog posts.