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If Your Brother Sins Against You: How to Forgive and Let Go

Updated: May 2

by Greg Morse, staff writer,

Have you also found that it can be much easier to pray for your own sins than to deal with others’ sins against you?

With the first, we can confess to our Lord, take up one of his many promises of pardon, and have our souls restored. With the second, the process can be more inconvenient, messier.

With sinners who betray us, who embarrass us, who hurt us in that place we are most vulnerable, it can feel like climbing a mountain to even tell them we forgive them, let alone to forgive them “from [the] heart” (Matthew 18:35).

The fallen mind has a propensity to involuntarily replay others’ offenses against us. You see the scene, hear the words, feel the same stab repeatedly. Like a worm, the breach threatens to burrow deeper and deeper within us. The initial shock becomes a growing How could they? And the closer the relationship, the greater the chance of infection, as David knew well:

It is not an enemy who taunts me — then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me — then I could hide from him. But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. (Psalm 55:12–13)

Perhaps you have been well taught on what to do with your sins against God, but is your heart also well instructed in what to do — and not to do — when others, especially fellow Christians, sin against you?

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