He teareth himself in his anger: shall the earth be forsaken for thee? and shall the rock be removed out of his place? – Job 18:4
We only hurt ourselves with bitterness, anger and resentment. We have to forgive others, not only because God has already forgiven us of so much, but because bitterness, anger and resentment will not solve the problem.
Over and over again we can see the scriptures tell us that Holding grudges and worrying ourselves to death with bitterness, resentment and anger is foolish and senseless. But Jesus said in Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Holding on to past hurts can’t change the past, and it won’t solve the problem. Most of the time it will only lead us to make things worse.
- Have you ever heard anyone say that their bitterness and anger and resentment makes them feel better?
God commands forgiveness not primarily for the benefit of the Forgiven, but primarily for the benefit of the one who forgives. In Isaiah 43:25 God spoke these words through the Prophet Isaiah: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” He goes on in Isaiah 44:22 to say, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.”
Why? Because according to scripture, He is Love (1 John 4:8) and He will not contradict Himself. So for His own sake – for the sake of love – He freely offers His forgiveness in Jesus Christ to all of us (John 3:16).
- He created us to be like Him
- He knows that bitterness and resentment and anger will destroy us
- He commands us to forgive for our own sake
Forgiveness is Hard. But please stay with me. And remember that it’s not about that person or those people we need to forgive. Of course they don’t deserve it, but it’s not about them.
Who is it about, then?