A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-01-21) from his book, Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living (Kindle Location 1942). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
Now it does have some benefit to the one being forgiven. I mean it really makes us feel good when someone shows they care enough to ask us to forgive them for something we did to them. The gift of forgiveness to someone is a very meaningful gift but the real gift is to the one doing the forgiving.
As Andy says, “We have a tendency to view forgiveness as a gift to the one who offended us— as a benefit to that person.” That is why it is difficult for us to do. We see it as letting them off the hook for what they did to us.
But he then goes on to say, “For the most part, it’s a gift that was designed for us. It’s something we give ourselves. Because when you consider everything that’s at stake, the one who benefits the most from forgiveness is the one who grants it, not the one who receives it.”
Think about that the next time something inside you prods you to forgive. For one Christ demands it. There is guilt if we don’t. But it also releases us from what happened. We are no longer chained emotionally to the action. Just let it go through forgiveness. And it makes us feel so good.
So what person are you holding on to by not forgiving them?