Ralph Waldo Emerson once said (in essence) "I cannot hear your words for your actions speak so much louder." What we do speaks more to our belief system than what we say. Those that watch Christians are quick to pick up discrepancies in our overall behavior and what we say. We tend to show our true colors more clearly by our actions than we know.
We, as Christians, are called to forgive just as we are forgiven. During a church meeting a while ago, bitterness and unresolved resentment boiled over. The catalyst was an argument about the way the church lawn was routinely mowed. After a time of seeking a resolution the true problem was revealed. Unforgiveness of some slight many years ago had festered and burst open. A minor misunderstanding had caused years of anger between previously close friends.
Colossians tells us to forgive as we have been forgiven. When I look at my debt of sin that the Lord has forgiven, what others have done pales in importance. We are called 'holy and dearly loved'. We should be willing to be patient and forgiving to others just as the Creator of the Universe has loved and forgiven us.
When we are the ones that have caused the pain, Jesus is asking us to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. If the one we have hurt refuses to forgive, that is between them and the Lord. Our responsibility has been met. We should continue to pray for them but we are not to hold it against them. Treat them with respect and compassion. Then we will live what we believe. No slight is greater than God's ability to heal and restore.
Witnessing without words is one of the most difficult tasks the Lord has asked us to attempt. We are to treat others as the Lord has treated us. We are to be walking witnesses to the amazing grace of God's forgiveness. A close walk with Jesus will show us the way.