Why Should You Forgive?
By Rick Warren
“The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go”(Matthew 18:27 NIV).
God’s Word tells us why we have to let go of our hurt and resentment. We’ve got to release it instead of rehearsing it.
There are three reasons we need to forgive.
1. Because God forgives you.
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the story of a king who forgives his servant. Verse 27 says, “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go” (NIV). Just as the king canceled the debt of this servant, God sent Jesus Christ to pay for your debt. Everything you’ve ever done wrong in your life has already been paid for. Jesus took your rap. He paid your jail time. He took your offense and paid the wages of sin. Jesus Christ died for all of your sins.
2. Because resentment is self-torture.
It is a self-inflicted wound. Whenever you’re resentful, it always hurts you more than the person you’re bitter against. In fact, while you’re still worrying about something that happened years ago, the other person has forgotten about it! Your past is past, and it can’t hurt you any more unless you hold on to it.
3. Because you need forgiveness every day.
The Bible teaches very clearly that we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give. Do you want to be forgiven? The Bible says you need to be forgiving.
Forgiveness is a lifestyle. It’s not just something you do one time. You need it every day of your life. You’ve got to ask for forgiveness. You’ve got to accept forgiveness from God and from others. And you’ve got to offer forgiveness. Forgiveness must be continual. It must be enjoyed, and it must be employed.
Talk It Over
- Who is the first person that comes to mind if you were asked about the greatest hurt in your life?
- In light of what God has done for you and forgiven you for, who do you need to forgive today?
- Do you have a time set aside each day to spend with God in confession, fellowship, and Bible study? What can you do to make that a priority?
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