To Forgive, or Not to Forgive

It isn’t always easy to forgive people who have hurt us; it isn’t always easy to forgive ourselves for that matter.

Our Lord told us to forgive, can we just skip it?  I used to say that I believe strongly in forgiveness… as soon as massive retaliation had been achieved.  I was only joking of course…

Forgiving others is an essential part of the Christian life.  It is necessary for several reasons, first because our refusal to obey the command of our Lord is sin.  Second, because we would be utterly hypocritical if we expected God to forgive us while we refuse to forgive others; God will not be mocked.  Third, if we don’t forgive others when they hurt us, we carry the scars of those hurts with us through life, and if we are overloaded with baggage of emotional hurts, we can’t follow Jesus very far for we are carrying too heavy a load.

Over the years I have had quite a few couples ask to speak with me when they had  difficulties in their marriages.  I am not a counselor and always make that clear, but it seems that they ask anyway because I am their teacher and because they believe that I will not take sides, and this is true.  In the course of this, many of the couples were reconciled, and some were not.  Bear in mind, none were cases of addiction, violence or crime… just “everyday problems” you might say.

In every single case, the whole thing came down to one single point:  Could the couple agree to set self aside and forgive one another?  That is always the bottom line in my experience.The couples who could forgive were reconciled, and they are still going strong both in the Lord and in their marriages.  The couples that could not forgive tore their families apart to the detriment of all concerned.

Is there any wonder why we must be willing to forgive?

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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7 Responses to To Forgive, or Not to Forgive

  1. Carolyn says:

    I suppose in forgiving yourself the question is, “Do I believe that God’s forgiveness is enough? Or has God become like me and must lungs the perpetrator for his actions before ‘forgiving them.'”?

  2. God Bless you dear friend.
    Christianity without forgiveness is like Cross without a Christ.
    And we are called to be like Christ, to Live like Christ.
    How can we call ourselves Christians if we just do not forgive?
    Forgiveness in the basis of Love, and Peace and Unity.

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