When people say “I’ll forgive you but I won’t forget,” they might mean they don’t want to forget. But here is a good reason we should forgive: It can release us from becoming bitter or physically ill–so some authorities tell us. Forgiveness can also strengthen our relationships for the future as we rebuild trust. We should also keep in mind what Jesus said about forgiveness. Here are His words from Matthew CH 6: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Think about this: Even though God graciously saves us based on our faith in Jesus, He refuses to blot out our offenses against Him if we do not forgive our brothers and sisters. We may undergo certain consequences for refusing to forgive others. We may experience unanswered prayer or feel estranged from His presence for our failure to relieve others of their debts to us. Of course, the human mind may not be able to totally blot out the memory of what a person may have done to us. Perhaps that is why Jesus said to forgive, not just seven times, but 70 times 7! Forgive again every time the memory returns.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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