And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Have you ever been hurt so deeply, so traumatically, that you thought you could never forgive the person who violated your trust? Maybe, it was that bully in middle school who made your life a daily nightmare of fear and anxiety, or the jealous co-worker who lied to the boss about your performance and got you fired, or a spouse in whom you placed all faith only to find out he or she was having an affair. No matter how egregious the sin committed against us, Jesus tells us we must forgive; if we are not forgiving of others, how can we expect our Father in heaven to forgive us for our transgressions? Forgiveness, as we have been exploring here recently, is often difficult to grant even in the smallest of wrongdoings against us, let alone the life-changing ones, yet it is an all-important action that falls under the commandment to "love our neighbor as ourselves". That is why we must do so.
If you are having trouble forgiving someone and letting go of the bad memories, here are some other reasons why you might want to:
- Anger is debilitating and self-defeating; your negative emotions crowd out the positive ones. This can lead to depression and other illnesses.
- Anger prevents us from healing our wounds and moving forward with our lives.
- Anger spills over to the loved ones around us, poisoning their outlook on life.
- Anger breeds fear: fear of taking risks, fear of standing up for oneself, fear of new relationships, etc.
- Anger prevents us from growing in God's love and grace.
Psalms 88 or 91, 92
2 Kings 9:17-37
1 Corinthians 7:1-9