Depending on whom you run with, revenge may or may not be a part of your lifestyle. Movies that have revenge as their plotline are satisfying because it gets at our desire for justice when there is none. This is revenge, and it feels good. Stories that end with revenge are satisfying, whereas stories that end with forgiveness seem to leave us unsatisfied. This is a direct result of the sin nature that continues to reside with us long after conversion (Galatians 5:16-18).
Revenge makes you feel empowered. That is exactly the point. YOU are empowered. You have usurped the direct role of God (Romans 12:19). When you grant forgiveness that person may never be fully punished for their crime in this lifetime. This sucks when you think of it this way, but the offense was paid for. Let’s go to the Cross:
From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
At this moment all of the world’s sin; past, present, and future was on Him (1 Peter 2:24). God the Father, being holy and pure had to turn from Jesus. This was the only moment in all eternity when the bond between the Father and the Son was broken. Besides the sheer pain of the cross, Jesus was heartbroken. I’m crying right now… I’m reminded that He did it for me. It’s awesome and empowering to feel the power of the cross in your heart. He also did it for you! This is the joy and power that allows you to forgive. Your forgiveness cost a lot. It was not cheap, so when you forgive that sin will be paid in full.
So when you grant forgiveness be aware that you need to drop it, you don’t get to bring it up over and over to guilt trip someone. This just doesn’t seem right, but think it through this way; Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (Hebrews 10:14). Those who put their trust in Him can count on that and never worry. The price was paid; all sin, past present and future was paid for. The gift is freely available to anyone who accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who reject the free gift of God’s Son by the Father Himself are doomed to pay for their sins in eternity. Even Christians must account for every wrong doing (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
God doesn’t mess around. Don’t worry about how it will all work out. Your role is to forgive, even when you haven’t been asked to forgive. If you don’t forgive, you will become one of the bitter people, rotten from the inside out. God has also made it very clear that when we are unforgiving we will not be able to escape the shame of our own sins (Mark 11:25). Our own relationship with Jesus becomes degraded. We don’t lose our salvation, but we cease to be a part of what God is doing here on this earth. We lose our joy which should be our source of strength. We stop feeling grateful. When we do not forgive others, you will not be forgiven by God (Matthew 6:14-15).