Tough Forgiveness

By Andrew Nack, age 14


How or why do you forgive someone who doesn't seem to deserve forgiveness?


Sometimes it can be very hard to forgive someone, even for the simplest things. I have a very hard time forgiving someone who has been rude to me or hurt me. But Jesus says that if someone were to strike you on your cheek, "turn to him the other also" (Matt 5:39). Though it's easier simply to blame the one who has wronged you, the right way isn't always the easy way. It is better to forgive than to hate. The Golden Rule also applies: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31). Wouldn't you want to be forgiven? These two rules really don't have any exceptions. No matter how wrong others are, they should always be forgiven.

I often get in big fights with my younger sister. We always get mad at each other -- in the bathroom, at the dinner table, in the kitchen, or anywhere else that we could possibly be at the same time. I remember that one day we had gotten particularly mad at each other and were only willing to see the fault in the other person and not in ourselves. I suddenly realized that I couldn't even remember what I was mad about or why I was arguing. I thought that it was really stupid to be fighting over nothing, and there was no reason to keep it up. I wasn't fighting about anything that she had done. I was fighting to prove that I was right, and she was wrong.

Since it takes two to have a fight, I had to force myself to give up fighting, even though I knew my sister would start bragging about how she had been right all along and start rubbing it in my face. I had to forgive her for yelling at me and, instead, apologize for arguing with her so much. It takes a lot of strength to do this because during heated arguments, it is easier to stick with self-justification rather than to forgive the other person.

It can be very hard to turn the other cheek, but it is always the right thing to do. Often times the other person really didn't mean to harm you. Even if he or she did mean to harm you, hating that person only hurts you and essentially gives that person power over you. Until you forgive the other, you are burdened by a grudge. Wouldn't you rather love the person and be his or her friend? Everyone deserves to be forgiven and not have accusations held against him or her. Everyone deserves a second chance.