Jack Hayford

Forgiving those who assail you is the key to not being permanently victimized by them. Whatever the initial impact of any offense done to us by others, our refusal to react, to carry a grudge or to retaliate in kind secures the high ground. But that must be as real on our part as the Savior’s forgiveness, not merely a humanistic, self-willed exercise in self-control. The latter may appear noble, but it only breeds an internalized pride. True forgiveness springs from gratitude to God for His forgiving me. True forgiveness is born of my remembrance that I have been forgiven so great a debt through God’s love that there is no justification for my being less than fully forgiving to others. Because I have “freely received,” my Lord calls me to “freely give.” To forgive those seeking to injure you or me is to remove ourselves from their control and to be unfettered by the anger, pain or disappointment that would seek to attach itself to us.