We’re commanded to forgive those who wrong us
Published 12:13 pm Monday, July 27, 2020
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Why is it important to forgive those who wrong us? This is hard for me to accept. When someone deliberately hurts me, they do not deserve my forgiveness, nor would I expect someone to forgive me if I wronged them. — R.F.
Dear R.F.: We’re commanded to forgive those who wrong us. This is a Biblical truth. “[Forgive] one another… even as Christ forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). For those who have not been forgiven by God of their sin, there is no better time than today to receive His salvation and forgiveness.
Imagine for a minute that you committed a crime, were arrested, and were sent to jail. The day has now come for you to appear in court. As you stand before the judge, there’s absolutely no doubt: you are guilty of the charges against you. According to the law, you must pay for this crime and the verdict is read and sentence pronounced. At once the bailiff comes to lead you away to prison.
But then the unbelievable happens. The judge steps down from the bench, stops the bailiff, and takes your place. He is innocent — but he goes to prison and pays the penalty for the crime you committed. You, on the other hand, are free!
This is a picture of what Jesus Christ did for us. We are guilty before God and deserve nothing less than death. But Jesus Christ took our place. By His death on the cross, He took the penalty we deserve, and we are free. Sin’s penalty has been fully paid. But we must accept it! Believe it! Act on it! We can know beyond a shadow of doubt that we belong to Him. “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven” (Psalm 32:1).
Forgiveness is a healing balm for the troubled soul and the Bible says God loves us enough to offer His forgiveness that opens the pathway to a relationship with Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)