Question:

Hello,

This kid at school slapped me and did other things that I did not like and now it is hard for me to forgive him. How can I forgive him when he hurted me?

Thank you.


Answer:

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him" (Luke 17:3).

The goal of any Christians should be to encourage as many people to reach heaven as possible -- even the people who currently don't realize how much you care for them. So when someone does you wrong, tell them why it is wrong.

  • "And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?" Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?"" (John 18:22-23).
  • "And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?"" (Acts 23:2-3).

A very effective way to rebuke someone is to treat them better than they treat you.

  • "Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:17-21).
  • "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. ... But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?" (Matthew 5:39,44-47).

It is not about how you feel about a person, but how you treat that person. It that person changes, then it becomes easier to forgive him. If the person won't change, then you can't really release him from the sin he did against you, but you have to have the attitude and desire to forgive regardless of whether he is willing to ask and receive your forgiveness. Your own salvation rides on this desire to forgive. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15). Your desire to forgive someone is shown in your effort to encourage him to become a better person.