Forgiveness seems to be one of the hardest steps we are called to take. Why is that? Is it pride? Is it because we want the offender to feel the pain we are feeling? We often reject taking this step and in fact we feed on the reasons why we don’t have to. Beloved this only leads to a root of bitterness. But the Apostle Paul uses the word “charizomai” which means to freely forgive as Christ has forgiven you. Imagine with me if Christ had withheld forgiveness from Peter the denier. Christ not only forgave Peter but restored him with full authority. If Christ could forgive why can’t you and I? In our pride do we think we are greater than Christ?

What is the consequence of withholding forgiveness? First and foremost if you do not forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive you. [Mat 6:15] Secondly, a lack of forgiveness leads to a root of bitterness. Thirdly, we open the door to the work of the enemy. We must not be ignorant of his schemes to defraud through lies, deceit, pride, and yes afflictions. “Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.” [M. Henry]

Jesus said, he who is without sin cast the first stone. He meant to acknowledge we too have sins and are in need of forgiveness. We are no different than the one who injured us. Jesus forgave Peter and the woman caught in adultery; you and I.  Can we do less?