Why Forgiveness is Important

Why Forgiveness is Important

Jesus is our perfect example in all things, and He demonstrated forgiveness to us.  (See John 8:7 & 11)  Let’s see what else the Scriptures teach us on this topic.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  (Mt 6:14-15 ESV)

Whenever you stand up to pray, you must forgive what others have done to you. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.  (Mk 11:25 CEV)

Both preceding verses remind us that as we forgive other people for ways in which they hurt us, our Father God also forgives us for our sins.  And they warn that if we don’t forgive others their transgressions, then the Lord won’t be able to forgive us.  Why?  Because our unforgiving attitude separates us from God, and from His loving plan for all people.  Unforgiveness can become a bitter root within us corrupting our faith in God.

But love your enemies and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil people. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  (Lk 6:35-36 NASB)

In Luke 6, we’re taught by the Lord to love our enemies and even to do good to them.  We’re told to lend, without expecting repayment—but then the Lord will give us a great reward.  The reason for that is that the Lord is kind to ungrateful and evil people, and when we act the same way, He is mightily pleased with us.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  (Col 3:13 NIV)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  (Eph 4:32 NIV)

The two verses above in Colossians and Ephesians emphasize that we should be patient with each other and kind to one another.  And again, we are urged most definitely to forgive others in honor and remembrance of the fact that the Lord has forgiven us repeatedly.  As we humbly recall the many occasions that our Savior has forgiven every one of us, we can begin to recognize that the Lord is not asking us to do anything that He has not already done!

After forgiving someone, it may be necessary for us to forgive them again for the same issue.  Not because they have offended us again, but because the enemy of our souls tries to tempt us by reminding us of the offense to break our fellowship with Jesus. 

That gives us the opportunity to submit to the Lord and pray, telling ourselves and the entire spiritual realm that we forgive the one who hurt us, and we do so freely in obedience to the Lord.  The Lord will give us the grace that we need to be able to arrive at the peace that He so fully provides as the Prince of Peace.  God bless you!