Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren said of resentment that it is the "unhealthiest emotion there is" and encouraged Christians to forgive others for their wrong doings.
Author of "The Purpose Driven Life," Warren told readers in a devotional on Tuesday that people need to learn to show grace and forgive because holding grudges is not what Jesus has taught us to do.
"You say, 'Why in the world should I forgive that person who hurt me so much? You have no idea how much they hurt me. Why should I offer grace to that person?'" he asked before answering the question with three specific reasons.
Warren started by saying you must “Be gracious to others and forgive those who’ve hurt you because God has been gracious to you.”
He contended, "You will never have to forgive anyone else more than Jesus Christ has already forgiven you."
"Remember that you haven't always gotten what you deserved, either. God has been gracious with you. Now choose to be gracious with others," he added.
Warren goes on to say that choosing not to forgive others is choosing the path to bitterness.
"Scientists,” he said, “tell us that resentment is the unhealthiest emotion there is.”
"It always hurts you more than anybody else! Resentment will not change the past, and it won't solve the problem. It doesn't even make you feel better. In fact, it makes you feel worse," he charged.
Warren rounded out his argument by reminding readers that God wants us to show grace and forgive, and for that reason, above all, we should.
"Jesus says we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give," he warned. "If you say, 'I could never forgive that person,' then I hope you never sin. If you just don't feel like doing it, do it anyway, because it's the right thing to do."
Warren then offered a prayer to people who are struggling to forgive others because they themselves, perhaps, do not feel forgiven.
He said, "No matter what you've done or where you've been, you can have a place in God's forever family ready and waiting for you," he concluded. "The invitation is wide open. Just believe and receive."
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