Why Should I?
People will usually resist doing something they feel is unfair or unjust. And that is one reason so many find it hard to forgive someone who has hurt them. They feel it is unfair and that the person who
wronged them should not be allowed to go unpunished.
Just in case you are one of those who don’t see why you should forgive someone who has hurt you, especially if that person is unrepentant, let me help you. Let me give you three good reasons why you should.
Firstly, forgive in order to express gratitude. Are you grateful that God has forgiven your huge debt of sin? Are you grateful others have forgiven you? Then you should express gratitude to God and to others who have been willing to forgive you by being willing to forgive others yourself.
Secondly, forgive in order to experience grace. Jesus tells the story of a man who was forgiven a huge debt by his master. Upon being forgiven, he promptly went looking for a man who owed him a very insignificant sum and demanded that the man repay every cent. When the man could not, he became exceedingly angry and had this man thrown into prison. Word about his mean behavior reached the master, and when he heard it, the master was stunned. How could someone be so ungrateful! So the master commanded that the ungrateful servant be turned over to the “tormentors” and thrown into prison until he had paid back every last cent.
The ungrateful servant could not continue to experience the grace of the master unless he was willing to be gracious to others himself. The lesson is clear.
The person who wants to experience grace from God cannot withhold forgiveness from others. You reap what you sow.
And lastly, forgive in order to escape grief. Remember Nelson Mandela’s famous statement that to be unforgiving is similar to a person drinking poison and waiting for his enemy to die. Unforgiveness is poison for the soul. It kills. You need to get rid of it for your own benefit.
In Luke 17, Jesus likens unforgiveness to a sycamine tree. The fruit of the tree is bitter. Its wood was the preferred wood for making caskets. Like the sycamine tree, unforgiveness takes the sweetness out of life. And like the sycamine tree, unforgiveness is casket material. The person who cultivates unforgiveness is building his own casket.
Why should you? Now you know!