When I think of forgiveness I think of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I could not imagine what it would have been like to live under the old law if Jesus never came! It would seem that what you did or thought would be a sin and would necessarily require reconciliation and sacrifice. I am very grateful not to have to live like that. Jesus died so we are not bound by the law, but by believing in Him, trusting Him, and following Him, we are saved by grace through faith.
As followers of Jesus, we believe His words to love one another the way we love Him. It sounds good but I think we all find that hard at times. We all have people in our lives we disagree with whether over money, relationships, politics, some wrong done, or even on a larger scale, entire groups of people. We find ourselves thinking about this and getting angry with the decisions or actions they take that affect themselves, us, or others. Instead of normal disagreement over the subject or act, we use the subject or act to justify our anger towards them personally. Sometimes the individual or group personally hates us. Either way God wants us to be kind to one another. Yes, this isn't always easy. It is generally hard! But it's what God wants for us.
I don't believe God is saying we can't defend ourselves at all, but ultimately He will be the one who judges. How will the world know we are Christians if we are angry all the time, holding a grudge? It is a lot harder for others to show compassion to you if you're not compassionate yourself. In the end, we?re only here for a little while. So, if God's really in control we should forgive as He has forgiven us.
I think Ephesians 4:32 sums it up well. ?Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you."