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A Look at Forgiveness

Is it hard for you to forgive people? When your little brother is bad, you might get upset with him. Then he says he’s sorry, and you say “I forgive you” and everything is all right again. But sometimes it is much harder to forgive. Especially when the other person doesn’t seem sorry at all.

In the story, Daniel felt he had a reason to be angry. What do you think? Is it right to steal and lie? If another child took your favorite racing car, would you care? What if he took an old broken toy? It still wouldn’t be right, but it wouldn’t matter so much to you. It is when we really care about something that it becomes hard to forgive.

How can we forgive people that are mean and hurtful? When the street bully pushes your little sister down, you want to punch him back and teach him a lesson. If you forgive him, he might do it again! But Jesus said we must forgive others if we want God to forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15). We are supposed to “overcome evil with good.”* (Romans 12:21) How can we do that?

To really be able to forgive, we must trust that God can take care of us. Don’t you think He is big enough? He says, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”* (Romans 12:19) It is quite terrible to think how everyone who does evil will be punished one day! If they are not sorry now, they will be then. Besides, God loves each of us and often treats us better than we deserve. What if God wasn’t a kind and forgiving Father? What if He said, “You are so bad that I will never forgive you”—and you were on God’s “hate list”? But God doesn’t have a “hate list.” He wants to forgive us and teach us how to be forgiving, too. Isn’t forgiveness a wonderful thing?