Graham acknowledged that forgiveness can be a difficult process and that retaliation is sometimes a knee-jerk reaction.
“It’s hard to forgive someone who has hurt us; our natural reaction is to strike back and hurt them in return,” he said. Doing so, however, only worsens the problem and any hope for reconciliation may be lost.
The evangelist added that trying to even the score is not wise, and that God will exact justice. The Bible warns against revenge in Romans 12:19, 21: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
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The evangelist said that Christians should forgive others even if they refuse to accept it. This can help prevent a believer from becoming bitter and angry. “Like a dangerous infection, they eat away at our minds and hearts and turn us into unpleasant people that no one likes to be around,” said Graham. “The Bible says, ‘See to it … that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many'” (Hebrews 12:15).
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