Why Should I Forgive?

April 12, 2009

by Shawn Brasseaux

Why should you forgive someone who has wronged you? The world’s answer is, “Forgive everyone so you can live a longer, healthier life.” The answer religion gives you is, “Forgive others so God can forgive you.” The answer God gives you is, “forgive others because I have forgiven you for Christ’s sake” (Ephesians 4:32). God’s Word, the King James Bible, is the final authority, not denominational tradition and religious leaders.

Of course, when you forgive others, you do relieve yourself of stress. But none of us deserve forgiveness, not even from God! Still, we have already received forgiveness through God’s grace, His unmerited favor. You have absolutely no reason to beg God to have mercy on you, and you do not need to ask God to forgive you. He has already forgiven you.

In time past, when God dealt with Israel, it was a different story. Remember the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4? Matthew 6:14,15 says: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Luke 11:4 says: “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.”

In order for the Jews to receive forgiveness from God, they had to first forgive those who wronged them. That was on the other side of the cross of Calvary. Today, in the Dispensation of Grace, the opposite holds true: because God has forgiven us, we cannot help but forgive others.

Your response may be, “yeah, but you do not know how bad the person hurt me!” Indeed, I do not know anything about it, but I what I do know is that God has forgiven you for all the horrible things you have done against Him, and He is not withholding forgiveness. You have failed him and caused Him more grief than that person hurt you. Consider what Romans 12:14-21 KJV says:

“14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”