In the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15) Jesus shows clearly the mind of his Father. The Father gave his younger son full freedom. While his younger son was away the Father watched daily till he saw him “from a long way off.” The Father embraced his son without regard for the prepared speech. The Father’s love extended to both sons, even his angry elder son. All that changed in this Parable was the direction of movement of the younger son, a change that was possible because of the unchanging forgiving love of the Father.
The Father’s forgiveness contrasts with his elder son’s slave mentality regarding God. The young man was envious and resentful. This attitude is the exact opposite of the magnificent, forgiving love of the Father. In the end the only way to rid oneself of resentment is to let go of it. A pagan may do this merely to keep his or her sanity. A Christian can have a higher motive, namely, to imitate a Father who lets go of hurts.
Bless those who have hurt me, Lord, and bless me with your spirit. Let no bitterness remain in my heart. Make my heart like yours, forgiving and open.