Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Besides forgiving because God wants it of us, forgiving also will free our minds and hearts. Holding onto pain and grudges for wrongs done to us will eat away at our wellbeing until we become bitter.
I have sinned in the past and continue to sin, as much as I try not to sin. It is just in our nature to sin, unfortunately. We are so lucky to be able to cleanse our sins and begin anew just by simply and earnestly going to God in prayer through Jesus Christ.
Christ paid made the ultimate sacrifice on the cross so that we could not only enter into heaven free of sin but also so that we could live a loving and guilt-free life free of the turmoil that comes with our sinful nature.
Just because we can obtain forgiveness does not mean we have a free pass to sin anytime we want. God wants us to strive to live as Jesus did, loving one another and forgiving each other, which means striving against our nature to sin. When we fail there is redemption.
Forgiving others frees us but forgiving someone does not mean you have to forget the sin. We need to forgive others but also remember the transgression done to us so we do not continue in unhealthy relationships.
I had a long history holding a grudge against my dad and it always played a part in things I did psychologically and how I viewed fatherhood. For a long time, I never wanted kids because of the abuse I went through with my dad; I wanted to break the cycle of abuse the only way I knew how. I later found out the horror of the way my dad was abused by his father and it was eye-opening to say the least. I finally understood why he did the things he did.
Finding Christ and his forgiveness opened my heart to forgive my dad later in life – thankfully it was not to late – in the last couple of years of his life before he died of colon cancer. That forgiveness led the way to a couple of really amazing years with my dad. My dad seemed to be a completely different person than the one I grew up with and I felt he had finally made peace with his demons and grew into a kinder person. I am forever grateful to Jesus for those precious couple of years, giving me some good memories with my dad. This is Will B saying, don’t wait until it’s too late to forgive someone you love and make good memories of your own.