Two Good Reasons to Forgive


Shana Schutte offers two good reasons we should choose to forgive.

Several years ago, I had a misunderstanding with a dear friend.  Unfortunately, it resulted in the end of a friendship I had cherished for over twenty years. During this heartbreak, I learned two good reasons why God has instructed us to forgive:

You won’t be outwitted

When we do not forgive, we are in danger of not only our hearts not healing but also of passing our pain on to others.

In the days after the loss of my friendship, I spent hours hiking through one of my favorite spots in Colorado Springs. As I rounded a curve on the trail, I sensed the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Your job is to forgive so that you don’t pass on the pain. 

I immediately thought of 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, in which Paul clearly states that unforgiveness gives Satan the power to outwit us. I knew then that I had to forgive my friend or that I could hurt others in the future, which I didn’t want to do.

You’ll keep God’s power in perspective

When we choose to forgive it presses us to the edges of ourselves, where we are forced to acknowledge that the God who loves us is greater than any wrong done to us. I recognize that no one can do anything that will ultimately destroy me, or destroy God’s plan for my life. No matter what someone has done to me, God is greater. In short, when I choose to forgive, it keeps God’s power in perspective.

No matter how someone treats me or what they do to me, they will never be able to destroy the love that God has for me, or his sovereign rule over all that concerns me. This is what Joseph acknowledged after his brothers threw him in a pit and sold him into slavery, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...” (Genesis 50:20).

Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? I invite you to do as God has commanded. Forgive so that you won’t be outwitted, and forgive so that you can move forward with the confidence and joy that God is sovereign and in control over every area of your life.

Lastly, if you haven’t found redemption in what’s been done to you, don’t give up. Keep holding on because God isn’t done writing your story. If you allow him, God will weave your life’s injustices into a greater whole. Isn’t this the promise of Romans 8:28? Believe it!

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