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I will never forgive him!
Speaking Truth
Clint Decker

CLAY CENTER – “I will never forgive him!” Have you ever said that about someone who deeply hurt you? When someone lies, abuses or uses you – it hurts. It causes emotional injuries that swell up into resentment, anger or bitterness. And what the person has done, makes them a “debtor”. Meaning, because of what they have done, they owe you something to try and make things right.

In these situations, have you ever asked yourself, “What do I really want from them?” If they have committed a crime, maybe it is jail time. In extreme situations, where they have killed someone, perhaps the death penalty. In other cases, it might be an apology or replacing something they have vandalized or stolen.

Does our desire for someone to make things right always work? What if the offending person is already dead? What if the person is uncooperative and does not want to do anything? What if they try to, but it does not turn out so well. In the end, what would be enough to satisfy us?

Forgiveness is the only sure way of handling situations like this. It is written, “…as the Lord [Jesus] has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossian 3:13) Forgiveness is an often-used term in the financial sector, referring to the forgiveness of a loan or another type of financial debt. It is also used in relationships with the same idea. When someone has offended you, they have accrued an offense debt. They pay it off by admitting what they have done, making no excuses, and apologizing. Then in response they are forgiven, and peace is restored in the relationship.

However, it normally does not work that way. Typically, the person who has hurt you does not always come to make things right. Let me ask this tough question. Would you forgive the one who has hurt you--without them admitting any wrong? It is easy to forgive when the person genuinely apologizes, but hard when someone arrogantly refuses. It is situations like these where forgiveness is desperately needed but can only be done by the power of God.

In our natural humanness we will only forgive if someone meets our conditions for it. And when someone does not meet those, we refuse forgiveness. According to God’s standards though, He requires it. No matter the gravity of the offense. No matter the attitude of the offender. No excuses. God commands us to forgive.

Jesus provided us an example through His cross. He forgave those who put Him on there. For He suffered, died and rose again to provide forgiveness for their forgiveness, including you and me. And He chose to do it despite the arrogance of His enemies, and their rejection of Him. Therefore, as He forgave His enemies, so we must forgive ours.

But what if we refuse to forgive, determining how the offenses against us is too great? If that is our choice, then we must consider the consequences, which is this--God will not forgive us.

Think about it logically. How can He forgive us, if we refuse to forgive others? How can He allow an unforgiving person into His forgiving eternal home?

In our natural state, it is nearly impossible to forgive, but with the power of God, it is possible. By faith call out to Him for help. Admit your weakness, but also your willingness to do it.

A prayer for you – Lord God, show us if there is anyone we need to forgive. Bring us to obey your command to forgive no matter how hard it is. Then empower us through the Holy Spirit to forgive, releasing the one who has offended us from any debt they owe. Enable us to forgive like Jesus and show His mercy to another. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Clint Decker is president of Great Awakenings. Share comments at and follow his blog at