It has taken me nearly half a century to understand why forgiving others is so important. God didn’t give us that commandment to deny us righteous indignation for the sinful acts of others against us. Oh, no! He doesn’t want us to fester in the poison of bitterness. Unforgiveness is like sipping poison and expecting the other person to die. It doesn’t work. We can’t be forgiven without forgiving, and forgiving allows us to soar away from bitterness, resentment, and all the other negative emotions attached to unforgiveness. Even knowing this, it is hard to let it go. After all don’t we deserve to wallow in our misery? Sure we do if we want to be unhappy…but haven't we had enough unhappiness in our lives. We can look to Jesus’ example of forgiveness and mercy to help us forgive and extend mercy to others. We can also remind ourselves of the power forgiveness gives us over someone who wants to hurt us. They can’t hurt or offend us without our permission. I won’t give permission to anyone to dictate my feelings or hurt me again. So…I’m grateful to God for commanding me to forgive others for my own sake.