Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. LUKE 23:34
If Jesus forgave those who nailed Him to the cross, and if God forgives you and me, how can you withhold your forgiveness from someone else? How can you withhold your forgiveness from yourself? If God says, “I forgive you,” then the only appropriate response is to say, “Thank you, God. I don’t deserve it, but I accept it. And to express my gratitude, I will forgive those who sin against me.”
We forgive others, not because they deserve it, but because He deserves it! The reason we need to forgive is that He commands us to. And obedience gives up opportunity to say to Him, “Thank You for forgiving me. I love You.” Our forgiveness of others then becomes an act of worship that we wouldn’t enter into except for the overwhelming debt of love we owe Him.