Three Reasons to Forgive
“Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13, NLT)
The Bible says there are three reasons you have to let go of your past and forgive the people who’ve hurt you. And those reasons have nothing to do with whether those people deserve it or not.
- You have to forgive those who’ve hurt you because God has forgiven you. Colossians 3:13 says, “Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (NLT). If you want to be a forgiving person, you first need to accept the forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. The Bible says God came to Earth in human form in Jesus in order to forgive everything that’s ever been done wrong. He paid for those wrongs so we don’t have to. That’s Good News.
- You have to forgive those who’ve hurt you because, otherwise, resentment will control you. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:9, “Only fools get angry quickly and hold a grudge” (CEV). Resentment makes you miserable. It keeps you stuck in the past. And when you’re stuck in the past, you are controlled by the past. Every time you resent something, you let that thing control you. Some of you are allowing people who hurt you five, 10, or even 20 years ago to still hurt you today because of resentment. Don’t let that continue to happen. Your past is past. You’ve got to let it go.
- You have to forgive those who’ve hurt you because you’re going to need more forgiveness in the future. Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV). Forgiveness is a two-way street. You can’t receive what you are unwilling to give.
Someone once told John Wesley, the 18th-century British theologian, “I could never forgive that person.” Wesley replied, “Then I hope you never sin.”
You don’t want to burn the bridge you need to walk across to get into heaven.
Talk It Over
Jesus has already paid for every wrong ever committed. How does that make it easier for you to forgive?
What’s a sin you believe you could never forgive? How do you think God feels about that sin?
In what situation do you need to offer forgiveness so that you can move on from your past?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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