John emphasizes that Offences will come and that despite this we are never more like God then when we forgive. Even our Lord said that and that those who refuse to forgive are shackled to that past event. The pain of that event is fed. It is not only kept alive, it is fed until it becomes larger and larger.
And that the price of vengeance is extremely high – That is why Proverbs 19:11 says, “A man’s foolishness is not to forgive. It is folly.”
Isaiah, that wonderful statement in verse 18, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” This is God’s forgiveness. And the sins were serious. If you read the rest of the chapter, he paints a vivid portrait of just how sick and just how sinful Israel was, and yet how ready His forgiveness is.
Whoever has offended you has offended God greater
We need to remember that whoever has offended you has offended God greater because Psalm 51:4 says Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, so that you are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.
John reminds us of the story of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-34 who was owed the equivalent of 3 months wages by another servant. Despite being forgiven for his unplayable debt he refused the to offer the same forgiveness to his fellow servant.
We’re reminded of James 2:13, “Judgment will be merciless to the one who shows no mercy and that not to forgive is to usurp the authority of God
Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse.” Then verse 17, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.” Verse 18, “As far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Verse 19, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” You don’t need to get your pound of flesh out of everybody.
That the injuries against you, the offenses against you are the trials that perfect you. First Peter 5:10, “After you’ve suffered a while, the Lord make you perfect…perfect.”