13. To Forgive

Revenge is a very popular movie theme. From Death Wish and Carrie to Django Unchained and The Godfather, everyone loves these stories of vengeance because it fulfills one’s own desire for revenge. We have this innate nature that wants to see people pay for the pain they have caused us, don’t we?

Now we may not pick up a sword or a gun to avenge ourselves, but we can hurt people in other ways. One of the easiest is to give them the silent treatment (spouses should be very familiar with this) or say spiteful and hurtful and unkind things to them or about them (everyone should be familiar with this!).

However, we cannot do this. We have to choose to forgive our offenders. Why? Because revenge is the way of the world. We are not people of the world; we are children of God. Consequently, we should be people of mercy, not revenge. Besides, vengeance does not solve anything; it only grows the pain. You hurt me, so I hurt you back. Now you are hurt, so you hurt me even more. And it goes on and on, an escalating cycle of revenge. Gandhi understood this. “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind,” he said. And the world is going blind. Can’t we see that? Or are we already too blind to see?

Forgiveness brings healing, both to the offender and to ourselves. It also brings peace. It isn’t easy to forgive people who have hurt us, but what helps is remembering that God has forgiven us for hurting him! In one of his letters, Paul advised his readers: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

But it isn’t only God who has forgiven us; people have as well. If we look at our lives, we would see that we, too, have hurt people. Many of them have forgiven us, haven’t they? I am sure we have been grateful for the peace and healing it has brought us. Shouldn’t we, therefore, extend the same courtesy to those who have hurt us?

What might really persuade us to forgive our offenders, however, is that Jesus says God will withdraw his own forgiveness if we aren’t forgiving. Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). If you want to understand why God would do this, please read Matthew 18:31-35 paying particular heed to verse 35. It’s not pleasant, so let us choose to forgive.

God bless you.

More in this category: « 12. Repentance 14. To Surrender »
Click here for the extended "LIVE" versions:
1. Abundant Life
2. Perseverance
3. Humility
4. Rest
5. To Abide
6. To Wait
7. To Look Ahead
8. Light
9. Grace
10. Contentment
11. Love
12. Repentance
13. To Forgive
14. To Surrender
15. Joy
16. Faith
17. Discipline
18. Hope
19. Freedom
20. Gratitude
21. To Listen
22. Truth
23. Peace
24. Encouragement
25. To Imitate Christ
26. Friendship
27. Unity
28. To Remember
29. Conversion
30. Generosity
31. Revival
32. Integrity
33. Excellence
34. To Serve
35. Tongue Control
36. Courage
37. Wisdom
38. Purity
39. Stewardship
40. To Evangelize
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Choice 01 — I Choose Abundant Life
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose the *Abundant Life*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooseabundantlife
Transcript
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Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Choice 02: I Choose Perseverance
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Perseverance*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit : https://bit.ly/ichooseperseverance
Transcript
One day Jesus told his disciples a parable to show Read More
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Choice 03: I Choose Humility
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Humility*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosehumility
Transcript
One day when Jesus was dining with a group of Read More
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Choice 04: I Choose Rest
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Rest*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichooserest
Transcript
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Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Choice 05: I Choose to Abide
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *To Abide*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetoabide
Transcript
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Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Choice 06: I Choose to Wait
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Wait*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an expanded 30-minute live version of this reflection, please visit: https://bit.ly/ichoosetowait
Transcript
One of my favorite passages of Scripture — I have Read More
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Choice 07: I Choose to Look Ahead
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose to *Look Ahead*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosetolookahead.
Transcript
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Choice 08: I Choose Light
Choice 08: I Choose Light
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Light*. Please share the video and bless others.
To watch an *expanded 30-minute live version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichooselight.
Transcript
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Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Choice 09: I Choose Grace
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Grace*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please https://bit.ly/ichoosegrace.
Transcript
John Bradford was an English Reformer who lived in the 16th century. One day Read More
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Choice 10: I Choose Contentment
Today, in our series on *40 Choices*, we choose *Contentment*. Please share the video and bless others. 
To watch an *expanded 30-minute version* of this reflection, please visit https://bit.ly/ichoosecontentment.
Transcript
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote: "I know what it is Read More

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