Job says something really thought provoking in Job 21:23-25;
“One person dies in full vigor, completely secure and at ease, well-nourished in body, bones rich with marrow. Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.” Job 21:23-25 (NIV)
The first person dies completely comfortable and secure, and the other person dies in bitter poverty, never having tasted the good life. What is the difference? The first person lived in the freedom of forgiveness and the other person was still trapped in prison of unforgiveness, carrying a grudge and choosing to be miserable. That brings a question, why should you and I forgive those who hurt us?
The first answer is the obvious one, because God has forgiven us. When we come to Christ our sins are not just forgiven but God completely wipes them out of record, no one can even find a mention of it in any cosmic ledger! And as a result of this there is ‘No Condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ.’ (Rom 8:1-2) Now when you and I have received this amazing forgiveness and in return we don’t forgive others then we start a vicious circle of resentment, and we will be held hostage to this resentment for the rest of our lives. Resentment will hurt us; it will hurt others who are close to us. Resentment is drinking poison every day and hoping it destroys the person you hate. This is the person Job well describes as “Another dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.”
Another reason we need to forgive is that we will need forgiveness in the future. As human beings we will never stop making mistakes or hurting others. We will need to be forgiven in the future, so we need to forgive others. Meaning you and I cannot receive what you and I are not willing to give freely without holding back. Jesus said something very clearly in Matthew 6:15, “If you don’t forgive others, your heavenly Father will not forgive your sins”. Maybe today is the day that you let go of resentment, seeking God to give you his love to forgive those who have offended you. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to remembrance all those people you have not forgiven yet. This will be a new beginning.