Why does Jesus tell us that we have to forgive people who do wrong things to us?

The Bible says that Jesus taught us to pray like this:

“Forgive us for the wrong things that we do. Other people do wrong things to us. But we know that we also must forgive those wrong things.

Forgive people when they do wrong things to you. If you forgive them, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive them, your Father will not forgive you.”

Matthew 6:12 and Matthew 6:14-15

Jesus told a story about forgiving people:

“Then Peter came to Jesus. ‘Lord, if my brother keeps on hurting me, how many times should I forgive him?’ he asked. ‘Should I forgive him seven times?’

 ‘No, not just seven times, but forgive him seventy times seven times’, Jesus said.

 ‘Where God rules is like a king. The king wanted to collect all the money that his servants owed him. So he began to do this. Then they brought a man to him who owed him millions of silver coins. The man was not able to pay. So the master ordered them to sell the man, his wife, his children and all his possessions. The master would receive that money to pay the servant’s debt. Then the servant kneeled in front of the king. “Be patient with me”, he said. “I will pay back everything that I owe you.” And the master pitied him. So he forgave the servant for all that he owed. And he let the servant leave free.

That servant went out then. But he found one of the other servants who owed him just a few silver coins. The first servant held the second servant firmly. He began to squeeze the second servant’s neck. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded.

The second servant kneeled down in front of him. “Be patient with me and I will pay you back”, he said.

But the first servant refused. Instead, he caused the authorities to throw the other servant into prison. And he had to stay there until he could pay back the debt. The rest of the servants saw what had happened. And they were very upset about it. So they told their master everything that had happened.

Then the master called the first servant to come back to him. “You wicked servant”, he said, “I forgave all your debt to me because you asked me to. You should have pitied the other servant, just as I pitied you!” His master was very angry. So he handed the servant over to the prison officers for punishment. He must stay in prison until he paid everything back to his master.

You must forgive your brothers. My Father who is in heaven will act like this king towards each of you. So you must forgive them from deep inside yourselves.’”

Matthew 18:21-35

In the Bible, the apostle Paul wrote:

“Learn to be friends with other people. Forgive anyone who does something wrong to you. Christ forgave you, so you must forgive other people”

Colossians 3:13

“You must not hold on to any bitter hurts, rage or anger. You must not fight each other or say bad things about each other. You must not think or act because of spite. You should be friends and you should be kind to each other. You must forgive each other, just as God forgave you. God forgave you because of Christ.”

Ephesians 4:31-32

To find out more about what it means to be a Christian, click: What is a Christian?

| More Questions | EasyEnglish Home Page |