Think back to the time when it was just too difficult to forgive. You had every right and reason to be upset or angry. Each and every one of us has been offended at least once in our life. Subsequently, we are faced with a choice. Do we choose to forgive or allow the offense to carry on in our heart? This is one way that the enemy keeps a person in an offended state; he keeps the offense hidden in pride. Pride will prevent us from admitting the truth about our heart’s condition. The enemy's goal is to take ownership of your HEART and he will do that by keeping offense hidden there. Here are three reasons why you should forgive:
1) IT CHANGES THE CONDITION OF YOUR HEART. According to Hebrews 3:13, “a pure heart is like pure gold- soft, tender and pliable.” However, our hearts become hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. Once we allow offense into our hearts, it will produce fruits of sin such as bitterness, anger, and resentment. We all have sinned against God with bitterness at the root. As the Bible mentions, we all bear good or bad fruit. If our roots are nurtured in bitterness and anger, the fruit we produce is a product of sin. In time, their roots will strengthen and be more difficult to uproot. Instead of a harvest of righteousness, there will be fruits of anger, resentment, jealousy, hatred, strife, and discord. Choose wisely that path you decide to take. The Bible gives us an example of how forgiveness leads to destruction. In 2 Samuel 13, Amnon, King David’s son, committed a wicked offense against his half sister Tamar, who was Absalom’s sister. Amnon pretended to be ill and asked that his father send Tamar to serve him food. When she did, he ordered the servants out and raped her. He has disgraced a royal virgin princess. His half brother, Absalom took his sister and provided for her. He expected his father, King David, to punish his brother. However, although David was outraged, he did not take any course of action. Absalom was devastated by his father’s lack of justice. He was offended by his father, and hated his wicked brother. After two years his hatred for his brothers transgressed into a plot to murder him. He threw a party for all the King’s son and eventually killed Amnon. His offense grew stronger; his thoughts were poisoned with bitterness. He became an expert critic of David’s weakness. This led to strong resentment toward his father. IN SHORT- Absalom was killed by his own bitterness and offense. The man with so much potential, heir to the throne, died in his prime, because he refused to release the debt of he thought his father owed. He ended up defiled. 2) JESUS COMMANDED US TO FORGIVE, OR LEST WE NOT BE FORGIVEN BY OUR FATHER. Jesus was a true example of Christianity. He is the Son of God, who came to save us from our wretchedness and sin. In our mortal bodies, we continually sin against God and we deserve nothing but death. Even though we deserved to be punished for sins, Jesus willingly came to pay the penalty for us. How is this fair? If someone murders someone, we expect them to face time in prison for their action. HOWEVER, Jesus stepped in to serve our punishment so we could be free. If our sins lead Jesus to the cross, yet He forgave us, how much more should we forgive others? As followers of Christ, Jesus said in Matthew 18:22 that we should forgive not just seven times, but seventy-seven times. This commandment is absolute- there are no, if, ands, or buts. If we truly desire to follow Christ, we must follow His word undoubtly. Therefore, we should forgive our neighbours and “love one another, just as [God] has loved us” (John 13:34).
3) IT LEADS TO YOUR SPIRITUAL MATURITY. You’ll mature through hardship [James 1]. The bible does not promise a life of ease. We do through different stages of offense. We become stronger when we are able to forgive the bigger offenses in our lives. God is training us. Jesus learned obedience by suffering. What about you? Have you learned? Or are you hard, cold, bitter, and resentful? Have you learned your lesson of obedience?
IN CONCLUSION. If we don't take care of the unforgiveness in our heart, sin will lead us astray. There are some circumstances that may seem easy to forgive, but others just may seem impossible. You are probably even thinking of one right now. You may ask yourself "How can I forgive this person when they tried to ruin my life?" The answer is simple. Forgive anyway. "But they really hurt me? It was intentional." The answer is simple. Forgive anyway. "I don't feel like it." Yes, you may not feel like it, but forgiveness is not based on feelings. It is a commandment. The answer is simple. Forgive anyway. Our job as a Christian is to forgive. The more you forgive, the more you see Christ. The more you see Christ, the more you become like Christ. The more you become like Christ - the world will know Christ. This should be our mission, the world should know Him, the world NEEDS to know HIM.