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by Wayne Blank
Most people can remember someone who hurt them somehow. Whether it be a school yard bully of long ago, or someone who did something only recently, it's a natural human emotion to want to "get even," or at least to hold a grudge.
Human nature such as it is, we can all usually remember very clearly what others have done to us, but somehow what we may have done to others tends not to come to mind. God makes plain however that we have all sinned to some greater or lesser degree, against Him, and against other people. No one is without fault or blame.
Forgiveness on a personal level is sometimes very difficult, especially if the offense is very great. But we must, not merely because it's the right thing to do, but because salvation is very much a "what goes around, comes around" matter. God makes clear that if we want Him to forgive us, then we must forgive others. Forgiveness is a very big part of good Christian Living.
Consider what Jesus Christ said of forgiveness:
"Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke 6:36-38 RSV)
Fact Finder: Why did The Messiah die for us?