Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
— Matthew 18:21-22
Not only do we have a great reward in Heaven when we forgive, but we present a great witness right here. Nothing witnesses so powerfully to the glory and truth of the Gospel as when a Christian forgives his enemy.
Some years ago there was a war between Muslim and Christian Turks. One of the Christian officers was captured and became a prisoner of a Turkish official. This Muslim officer treated the Christian with the utmost cruelty and hatred and tortured him.
Then the circumstances of the war changed. The Christian prisoner was released; the torturer was captured and placed before the Christian. The Turkish officer’s face and eyes showed the fear and dread that filled his heart. He knew this man was going to retaliate against him with great vengeance. However, the Christian man said to him, “You do not need to be afraid. I am a Christian and I will not return evil for evil. I forgive you for what you did to me.”
The Muslim was so astonished, he said, “I will not die a Muslim, but I will die a Christian, for there is no religion but that of Christ which teaches forgiveness of injuries.”
What a marvelous testimony it is to do good to them who have done evil to us. Remember my friends, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”