You should forgive, no matter what.


I watched a news cast of a tragic church shooting, where several members were murdered. A woman from that church told the camera that they had already forgiven the killer, stating that it's the Christian thing to do. Too many Christians quickly  turn-the-other-cheek mentality and cry out “we forgive them!” I wonder how the apostle Paul would have responded?


Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (2 Tim 4:14)

Do you detect any sense of forgiveness on Paul's part? Just the opposite; he was hurting from whatever Alexander had done to him; and he promised God's vengeance on the man.

Believe it or not, there are conditions for forgiving someone.

Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him.” (Luke 17:3-4) ESV

There are conditions for forgiveness; it isn't dispensed out-of-hand. There is (1) the sin or offense committed; (2) repentance on the offender's part; (3) forgiveness on your part. Forgiveness is also an extension of God's grace to us as we extend it toward others. IOW, the Lord put up with a lot of nonsense from me; why should I not extend the same courtesy to my fellows? This is taught in Matthew 18:23ff.

Another aspect of forgiveness involves forgotten or ignorant offenses that you may not be aware of.

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)

Forgiveness is not some prescription where you chant some magic words and things are instantly restored. Ask someone who has had a cheating spouse. The hurt runs deep and forgiveness is not so glib. This is especially true if divorce has been the result and the cheater has started a new life and family, never once begging for forgiveness.


We are not doormats. Men should be quick to protect their family and worry about the forgiving at an appropriate time.