Here are some reasons to forgive:
1) so that I will feel better.
2) so that the other person, in seeing mercy in me, might change course and start having mercy.
3) so that the one who offended me and I might reconcile.
4) so that I might be an example for others.
5) so that I can grow in the virtue of forgiving and become a forgiving person.
6) so that I can get proficient enough in this virtue to be able to pass it along to others.
7) just because. Extending goodness is good in and of itself.
Of all of these reasons, #7 shows the intrinsic beauty of forgiveness. All others also are honorable because they recognize the importance of persons and of relationships. Even #1 is a good reason and is not self-serving if I am trying to get better so that I can give goodness to others and not just to the self.
Which of the seven reasons describes you the best?
For more reasons why forgiveness is the right thing to do physically, spiritually and socially, visit the Why Forgive section of this website.