Q. I read one of your articles on forgiveness and you told someone to forgive the person for what they did to them. You said to not worry about getting revenge for what they did, because God would take care of it for them. Did I understand that correctly? If you forgive a person who did you wrong, will God will punish that person for hurting you?
A. In Romans 12:18-20 Paul said,
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Paul was quoting from Deut. 32:35. Harboring anger and plotting revenge against a person who wronged us is detrimental to our physical and mental heath and can cause a rift in our relationship with the Lord. This is why He wants us to let Him determine how to deal with a person who has wronged us.
But our forgiveness should not be conditioned only on the promise that God will punish someone who has wronged us. God expects us to forgive one another just as in Christ He forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Therefore, even without such a promise, we should forgive each other out of gratitude for the fact God has forgiven us and punished His own Son in our place.