Forgiveness is a lifestyle we need to practice every day, Pastor Rick Warren says.
Warren, who heads Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, said in his Daily Hope devotional that there are three main reasons why we as Christians need to forgive: because God forgives us, because forgiveness benefits our personal health, and because we need forgiveness every day.
The first reason to practice forgiveness is because God forgave us of our sins when he sent his only son to die on the cross and be resurrected.
Just as the king forgives his servant of his debt in Matthew 18, so “God sent Jesus Christ to pay for your debt,” Warren explains.
“Everything you’ve ever done wrong in your life has already been paid for. Jesus took your rap. He paid your jail time. He took your offense and paid the wages of sin. Jesus Christ died for all of your sins,” Warren explains.
Additionally, forgiveness is good for our personal health, as holding resentment against someone can feel like self-torture.
Warren describes holding on to resentment as “a self-inflicted wound.”
“Whenever you’re resentful, it always hurts you more than the person you’re bitter against. In fact, while you’re still worrying about something that happened years ago, the other person has forgotten about it! Your past is past, and it can’t hurt you any more unless you hold on to it,” the pastor explains.
Lastly, it is important to forgive because in order to receive the daily gift of forgiveness, we have to practice it.
Read more at Rick Warren: Forgiveness Is a Lifestyle.