What does God say about Forgiveness?
It’s not easy to forgive someone who has hurt you or caused you pain. God talks in the Bible about Him forgiving us; we like to hear about that. But, He also talks about us forgiving others and that’s hard to hear.
But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too. Mark 11:25
Why is forgiving others so important to God?
God wants you to forgive, not for the other person’s sake, but for yours. The person you need to forgive may never ask for forgiveness. And, they may never admit their wrongdoing. But forgiveness isn’t about them at all. It’s really about you and your relationship with God.
We withhold forgiveness as if it were a weapon. But it’s a feeble weapon because it backfires, wounding us instead of our adversary. Rather, God asks us to turn over the entire situation to Him. In a larger passage about forgiveness, the Apostle Paul quoted God when he said:
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
As long as you withhold forgiveness, you can’t move forward from what happened. Unforgiveness holds you in its grip. It calls the shots in your life. It clouds your view of your future. It colors how you interact with others. It hinders your progress as you seek to serve God. God doesn’t want any of that for you. Instead, He offers you a key to an abundant life full of healthy, nurturing relationships. Forgive others.
When we forgive, God doesn’t ask us to forget what happened. He wants us to learn from it. And use our experience to help someone else forgive. God doesn’t ask us to be friends with the person we have forgiven. He does ask us to love all people, but He knows for unsafe people in our lives, we need to love from a distance.
Being ready to forgive takes time. And when you’re ready, God will help free you from your burden. Forgiving others is important to God because it’s important for your well-being. Let go and trust Him.