Forgiveness is a much written about subject. There is no question in my mind that the adversary wants to muddle and twist people's ideas in this particular area.
Ephesians 4:32 (King James Version)And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.'Even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you'. That sets the standard. Jesus Christ died for our sins once and for all. This doesn't mean we have to be crucified to serve God but it does mean that we have answers to life's challenges and that we extend those answers to others. When we teach God's word to others and help them to apply God's word to every situation we are 'kind'.
Joseph's goal was restoration. His brothers were pretty much a mess and had displayed very cruel behavior toward him in the past. God worked in Joseph's heart to help facilitate the change that was necessary to cause them to see what changes they needed to make. God knew how to handle them and Joseph carried it out. God knew also that Judah would change and he showed Joseph how to bring that out. Several steps were needed. At one point Joseph spoke roughly to them and threw them in prison. It was there that they started to admit their lives had not been sterling and they repented of what they had done to their brother. It is a great record, one to be digested and re-digested.
God is real and he knows the best way to deal with life's issues. In the age that we live in of secular humanism, we need to take heed to a man like Joseph and how he did things. Our relationships with others should be based on truth, not feeling. Our goal is to help others come up and out of the quicksand of this world. It is a world of competition, strife, ambition, greed and control. We can't just do that by patting someone on the head and saying nice things. We need to help people by giving them the words of God and telling them how Jesus Christ stood in the gap for us and that we have full access to the throne room of God. That is the promotion of true forgiveness!