Why Forgiveness is Good for You
First of all, we are made in the image of God with certain capacity, as persons, to experience wholesome personhood, balanced emotions; good judgment and wisdom; healthy relationships and a proper regard for self and others. This kind of self-consciousness is not possessed in the same way by any other part of God’s creation.
Consequently, it is normal if sometimes we feel offended or hurt by the misdeeds of others. Often this crosses from annoyance or frustration to anger or moral outrage depending on how egregious the offence might be. To feel the depth of the offence and yet respond with forgiveness is a moral choice that is difficult but brings blessings unknown to the unforgiving soul. This does not mean than one ignores or minimizes the offence. That would be incredulity or a kind of naiveté that leads to a repeat of the offence. The second time the hurt might be even greater. But to truly forgive is to prayerfully manage your feelings; allowing God’s grace to soothe you, allowing you the clarity of mind to assess the situation and determining what the prudent response should be. If someone does not FEEL offended there is no commensurate need to forgive. Only when there is a sense of being offended is there the personal, moral challenge to forgive. The person who forgives when there is no need to forgive is a fool and may need psychiatric care.
Our motivation to forgive, to be kind, to be righteous, must not come from our feeling of being offended, however, that is a mere signal that points us towards forgiveness. The real source of our forgiveness should come from a much greater source; our desire to please God, to be like God. God is the ultimate paragon of HEALTHY PERSONHOOD. He calls us to be like him so that we can live the life He lives; a holy life; a life of holiness and wholeness. Wholeness that is expressed in love, joy, and peace. Forgiveness liberates our spirit and allows us to live such a life and that is why forgiveness is good for us. God is a loving God because He is a forgiving God. This is most evident in the parable Jesus told about the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:21 – 35). It is also reflected in the promise He gave us through His apostle John, “If we confess our sins he is able to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). God now calls you to unburden yourself by forgiving those who have offended you. Do it!