How can we forgive others without being a doormat?

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To forgive others and to be a doormat are two very different things.

Doormat vs. Forgive Others

Paul taught, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:17-18). Does that mean that a believer should allow others to mistreat him and be a doormat? The answer is no. Paul simply means that a believer should peacefully remove himself from a harmful situation.

The next verse says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12: 19).  God is telling us not to take revenge upon ourselves. Leave room for his wrath. He knows how to repay. Therefore, give room for the avenging wrath of God to work. A believer should never try to seek revenge upon those who treat them unfairly. He should leave the problem with God. Only a just, all-knowing, all-loving God can correctly judge and justly punish the wicked. Let God do His job for He does a great one.

Vengeance is mine says the Lord

Forgiving a person that caused us harm doesn’t make us a doormat. Jesus called us to forgive all just as He forgave us. “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). But sometimes we can’t forgive a person that wronged us because we believe they might “get away with it.” But the Bible confirms that they will not get away with it. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). We don’t have to worry about someone getting away with what they’ve done. They will have to answer back to God. When we forgive, we’re turning the person over to God and letting Him do His work.

Also, sometimes we don’t forgive because we want someone to clearly understand that what he did is wrong. But we can’t make someone repent of his sin. God does the work of convicting (John 16:8). Our part is to forgive and turn the offender over to God.

Be angry and do not sin

Paul also wrote, “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4: 26,27). The anger referred to in v. 26 gives opportunity for the devil to set the members of the church of Christ against one another and thus extend his evil works. Those who are filled with plans of revenge are giving place for the devil to cause anger and hate, whereas they should be showing the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, and long-suffering (Galatians 5:22).

Overcome evil with good

Paul adds, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).  The infliction of vengeance is a sign, not of strength, but of weakness. The one who allows his anger to be aroused and his Christian attitude of love and self-control to be forsaken gets defeated. But the believer who overcomes his need for revenge and turns a hurtful act into an opportunity to show love obtains a victory over himself.

Forgiveness is a noble act and also more effective. It overcomes the enemy (Proverbs 15:1) and wins the battle. The Lord didn’t give to the wicked the vengeance they deserved, but rather showed them love. For it is the goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering of God that lead men to repentance (Romans 2:4). The believer who is being changed into the image of God (Romans 12:2) will exhibit by his treatment of his enemies that his character is becoming more and more like the character of Christ, who is love (1 John 4:8).

Summary

Here is what a Christians should do to those that hurt him: 1-accept God’s forgiveness that was offered by the Son of God on the cross.  2-Forgive others and allow God’s mercy and grace to flow through him to the offender. 3-Let God do the avenging. 4-Overcome evil with good deeds to offenders. 5-Remove himself away from the mistreatment of the offender.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

This page is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi)

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