U Know: Forgiveness

We asked Clubhouse readers to debate what it means to truly forgive.

Option 1:
If you truly forgive someone, you shouldn’t punish them. Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone” (John 8:7, ESV). We’ve all sinned, so if someone hurts you, you should forgive and forget.

Option 2:
Actions have consequences. It’s important to forgive others, but people have to pay the price for their bad choices. “Justice executed is a joy to the righteous” (Proverbs 21:15).

Here are some more great responses that we couldn’t fit in the magazine:

Jesus says to forgive, not seven times, but 70 times seven times. I know that only multiplies out to 490, but He means that we can't count how many times we should forgive someone. We shouldn’t try to get back at people who do wrong to us. God will punish if need be.
Molly H., 13, from California

You should get punished for a sin. If you steal something from a store, you should pay a fine or go to jail.
Abigail F., 12, from Virginia

When you do wrong, you must pay the price. But when others do wrong, you should forgive them. Like it says in Colossians 3:13, “Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” No matter what they did, always forgive others.
Moira M., 10, from North Carolina

I believe that you should forgive and punish, because people need to learn their lesson. But remember, even if you make mistakes or do bad stuff, God still loves you. He will forgive you if you repent.
Andrew C., 8, from Oregon

Before you punish, ask yourself—what’s the point? Am I punishing to teach a lesson? To protect others? To get my revenge? Jesus came to redeem His people, all of whom are unworthy of grace. It is not our place to judge. If you must punish someone, make sure it’s loving discipline that builds up that person.
Evie G., 9, from Oregon

In Romans 12:20-21, it says, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” Just remember to pay back evil with kindness.
Molly H., 12, from California

U Know shares Clubhouse readers’ thoughts about school, family and faith. Check out page 15 of the July issue for more responses and a new prompt.

Copyright © 2014 by Focus on the Family. Photo © Andrew Yee/Flickr.com; used under Creative Commons license.