Forgiveness doesn’t mean being fair; it’s giving up getting even

Last time, we considered some myths regarding forgiveness. So what does real forgiveness look like anyway?

In Romans 12:19, we are told to leave revenge in God’s hands. When I am ready to forgive, I decide to relinquish my right to get even. That may sound unfair because it is.

Forgiveness isn’t fair. Was it fair for Jesus Christ to die for your sins and mine? We’re the ones who sinned.

The Bible says the wages of sin is death. The blood price had to be paid for our sin. Jesus Christ, the sinless son of God, died in our place. He is the one who offers us the free gift of eternal life. Forgiveness is a gift of God’s grace. There is nothing fair about it.

It is interesting to see how we always seem to want justice for everyone else, but we desire forgiveness and grace for ourselves.

When it comes to forgiving somebody else, our immediate response is, “That’s not fair!” But you never hear anybody asking God to be fair with them.

Nobody says, “God, go ahead and give me what I deserve.” That is because we don’t want God to be fair with us. We want God to be gracious to us. We want God to forgive us.

Forgiveness means I relinquish my right to get even. This is the starting point to forgiveness. If you don’t do this, you easily fall into the trap of bitterness.

No matter how much bitterness you possess and no matter how much resentment you hold on to, it isn’t going to change the past.

All of that resentment and all of that bitterness and all of those grudges you’ve held on to, they won’t bring anything positive to your future. Resentment will never change the past.

It will just mess up today.

Many times, people hold resentment in their hearts, and the people they resent don’t have a clue. They’re going along through life, having fun, doing their thing, getting on with their future. And all the while, you’re the one stuck in the past.

When you hold on to resentment, aren’t you really allowing those same people who hurt you in the past to continue hurting you today?

They cannot continue to hurt you unless you choose to hold on to the hurt. Why would you do that? Why would you hold on to a hurt that cannot be changed or controlled?

All you’re doing is making yourself miserable. So you relinquish your right to get even.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at or you can email him at steve@goto