Has someone wronged you grievously? If yes, it is natural to be angry with them. You may not feel like forgiving that person. You may also feel offended or even angry when someone tells you to forgive them.
A lot of questions come to our mind when we are told to forgive. We wonder how God can ask us to forgive, “Doesn’t He know what this person has done to me?” or “How can a loving God ask me to forgive such a wicked person?” Yes, it might be difficult for us to understand God’s wisdom in asking us to forgive those who wronged us. But once we grasp the truth about these things, our hearts will slowly accept that it is indeed good to forgive those who wrong us.
Jesus, the Bridge between sinners and God
Jesus came to this world in human form only to help us re-connect with our heavenly Father and Creator. He knew that a holy, righteous and just God could not connect with sinful, unrighteous and unjust mankind. Sin had torn apart man’s relationship with this loving and doting Father in heaven. Jesus had to pay the price – His sinless body and life sacrificed on the cross to purchase for mankind – that is us, the right to enter the Father’s presence and have a relationship with Him.
Through the sacrifice of Jesus, we receive forgiveness for our sins. No matter how much we have sinned and how big our sins are, when we sincerely repent, God forgives them all for Jesus’ sake. And since He forgives us our sins freely, He expects the same from us concerning others who have sinned against us.
Forgive those who sin against you
In Mark 11:25-26, Jesus says, “And whenever you stand to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.”
Some people think that when they forgive a person who has done wrong, been wicked or evil to them, the person who wronged them will not face punishment for what they did. It is not true. Forgiving others does not wipe out the record of the wrong done, it is written in the books of the Lord. No one can erase it. God is a just God, He cannot be unjust.
A Just God
In fact, Numbers 14:18 says, “The Lord is long-suffering and slow to anger, and abundant in mercy and loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and fourth generation.”
Forgive: God wants sincere repentance
God waits for every wrongdoer to come to Him in repentance. When a person comes to Him in all sincerity, torn to the heart for the wrong done, God who sees true repentance will definitely forgive them (see 2 Chronicles 6:30).
For us who have repented and asked God forgiveness for our sins, Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retains not His anger forever, because He delights in mercy and loving-kindness.” In Jeremiah 31:34 the Lord Himself says, “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will [seriously] remember their sin no more.”
God waits for those who wronged us too
When we repent we are forgiven. There is no forgiveness without repentance. Just saying a few words without meaning it will not get us forgiveness since God looks at our heart. Similarly, He is looking at the hearts of those who wronged us too. He is waiting for them to recognize they have done wrong and repent for what they did. Unless they repent themselves, they will not receive forgiveness for what they have done, they will certainly receive the just punishment for what they have done (See Deuteronomy 32:4). When we forgive someone who wronged us, we have done our part by obeying God’s instructions to us. When we love God with all our hearts, we want to do what pleases Him – and forgiving those who wrong us, pleases God. It shows that we trust Him to take care of the things that bother us.