This blogpost is a warning. You could cause yourself serious harm if you are unwilling to forgive.
First of all, what is forgiving? Forgiving is giving up on all possibility of ever getting even. The Bible offers more detail. Forgiving means we should not dwell on thoughts of revenge. It means we shouldn’t attempt to do mischief to our enemies. In fact, we should go so far as to wish them well. We should pray for them. We should attempt to be at peace with them. And if they have trouble, we should help them. We are not required to allow them to keep hurting us, but we don’t need to hurt them, either. We give up on getting even.
Forgiving means moving on. In the Lord’s Prayer, there is a line, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” There is something in us that takes secret delight when people are in debt to us. We enjoy when we have been wronged because then we feel like the other party owes us something. We like having the high moral ground. However, it does us no good. We think we are punishing the other party, but we are punishing ourselves. Better to move on.
When we fail to forgive, we cut ourselves off from God. If we ask God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors, that means that when we won’t forgive people, God won’t forgive us. We have chosen to live a life without grace: no grace extended to other people, and no grace from God. We need God. We need grace. We need to forgive.
In our sermon this Sunday we will look at the importance of forgiving.