The world operates on a principle of unforgiveness and retribution. We see this play out constantly on the news where people are assaulted or killed for something they said or did. Then follows the cycle of unforgiveness, hatred, and revenge. We see the devastating results of unforgiveness all the time. One gang at war with another gang. One race hating another race. Former friends who now can’t stand to be in the same room. A family who once shared sweet fellowship is now divided. Such is the way of the world, and this should not surprise us since they have not known the forgiveness of God.
However, for the believer, this is not the case. We respond differently to insult and hurt because we are different. We understand forgiveness because we have been forgiven, and because we have been forgiven, we have a platform to forgive others when they wrong us. Furthermore, we have the supreme example of forgiveness in Christ and we follow his example. In other words, Christians are forgivers because God is a forgiver and we emulate him.
Forgiveness is hard. Though, arguably, one of the most challenging parts of the Christian life, it is liberating! If we will commit to doing the hard work of forgiveness, we will reap rich rewards.