Why Must We Forgive?

Written by Rick Warren

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“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

We have to forgive the people who’ve hurt us, and it has nothing to do with whether or not that person deserves forgiveness. They don’t deserve forgiveness, but then, we don’t deserve it either.

We forgive those who’ve hurt us because God forgives us for how we’ve hurt him. To be honest, the reason we often have a hard time forgiving others is because we don’t feel forgiven ourselves.

But when Jesus died on the cross he paid the penalty for every sin that you or I ever committed or will ever commit. And if we’re going to be forgiving people, we first need to accept God’s forgiveness that comes from Jesus Christ.

Also, we should forgive knowing we will need God’s forgiveness sometime in the future. Jesus said, “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Carrying a grudge just keeps us stuck in the past, and when we’re stuck in the past, we’re controlled by the past. Our unforgiveness can control us. The Bible says, “Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple” (Job 5:2, NLT).

The Bible also says that only the foolish harbor a grudge (Ecclesiastes 7:9). Accept forgiveness from God and give forgiveness to others.

Question: Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive?

About the Author:  Rick Warren

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