10 Reasons Why Forgiving is a Bad Idea

by Andy Wood on March 29, 2010

in Exploring the Possibilities, LV Cycle

Today’s guest post is by Leonard Grimm.  Leonard has been a deacon in three of my churches in the old days (he was stalking me), and is my favorite axe-grinder.  As you can tell, he has a bit of a different idea about forgiveness. Actually, Leonard has a different idea about a lot of things. 

 Leonard has issues.  Lots of ‘em.  But in the interest of equal time and continuing the uh, discussion, here’s Leonard.


Get a bunch of Christians and other religious people like me together, and somebody will eventually start talking about forgiving your neighbor, “seventy times seven,” and all that stuff.  Well, I’m here to tell you, that’s a buncha hooey.  If you’re pouting, shouting, or planning your next attack, hang in there and stay the course.  Here are 10 reasons you should rethink all that forgiveness stuff:

1.  It still hurts.

Just because you send the jerk on his merry way doesn’t mean his offenses don’t hurt anymore.  And if you’re still hurting, why should he get off scott free?  I think you need to remind his sorry soul every time you’re having a bad day.

2.  It sends the message that you approve of what they did.

So the dirtbag comes along and says, “I’m sorry,” and you say, “Oh, it’s okay” with that sugar-sweet churchy voice.  We all know what that means – “It’s really not that bad.  I know you didn’t mean to drive drunk, cheat, steal or lie.  I’ve probably done worse that.”  Puh-leeze!  You just signed his hall pass to do it all over again.

3.  Somebody has to hold them accountable.

Accountability means reminding them of how they screwed up, right?  Well if not you, then who?  You were the one who was offended or hurt.  They ought to see your face or hear your voice every time they ever think about doing it again.

4.  Forgiveness is a sign of weakness.

It’s your way of saying that you’re clingy and needy and just can’t get by without having their lowdown self in your life.  Man up!  Let them know loud ‘n’ clear that you don’t need anybody.

5.  If you forgive them, they’ll just do it all over again.

Perps need to pay, somehow.  This business of letting them off the hook will only guarantee they do it all over again.

6.  Forgiving removes the possibility of probation.

Hey, even in baseball, three strikes and you’re out.  Same goes for the prison system.  Like it says in the Bible, “God helps those who help themselves.” It’s a whole lot better when the wrongdoer recognizes that one more slipup means he pays for the whole load.  Maybe then he’ll keep his act together.

7.  Forgiveness costs money, time, and a lot of energy.

There’s something to be said for payback.  Restitution, baby, with interest.  Just look what you lose when you excuse.  Hey, that rhymes.  Anyway, why is it that the only people in long-term counseling are those who need to forgive or the creeps that need forgiveness?

8.  Forgiveness makes you look stupid.

Show me a forgiving Christian, I’ll show you another reason that people think we’re idiots.  Hey, I want to be nice like the next guy.  But I’m not letting some repeat offender make a fool out of me.  No sir!

9.  Forgiveness hurts church planting and missions.

Think how many churches have been started because somebody in the Mother Church got tired of putting up with the crap from the people next to them.  When you can get a group of people together who are sick and tired of another group of people, you’ve got the makings of a missionary enterprise.  Heck, I know.  I’ve started two and a half churches myself with this strategy.

10.  People who forgive make Hell a nonprofit organization. 

And without the devil to blame, where would we be?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Chaffin March 29, 2010 at 6:13 am

Interesting tongue-in-cheek examination of the subject of forgiveness, especially the “God helps those who help themselves” being in the Bible bit. If people only knew the truth…

Personality Development March 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I can’t say the point mentioned above are true or not but if forgiveness was bad, LORD CHRIST would not have forgiven those who tortured him so badly.. As being personality development coach, i need to say, forgiveness is the best policy!!!
.-= Personality Development´s last blog ..Forensic Handwriting Analysis =-.

meh July 31, 2012 at 4:28 am

wow that is the most ridiculous thing i ever heard. you may think forgiving is dumb, but it won’t be so dumb when your the one asking for forgiveness.

Andy Wood July 31, 2012 at 10:11 am

Um… there IS this thing called tongue-in-cheek. You may want to go back and read between the lines. 🙂

Gregory September 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

Christian mythology nurtures forgiveness by way of the Easter Story.
The sinner on the cross goes to heaven forgiven simply because they believe.
Nurturing young minds along this path has a higher potential for unwanted or unexpected outcomes. A deep investigation into the individuals that kill innocent children would most likely reveal their thinking that they would be forgiven like the sinner in the Easter story.

Lorraine October 15, 2014 at 6:02 am

My mother has treated me badly all my life.. Directly and in directly, she has been cruel and irrational. Her favourite saying is – ‘one of the worst things you can do is bear a grudge’ Well that is typical of people who abuse others, abusers always blame their victims.
A friend of mine summed up her behaviour towards me-he said ‘your mothers behaviour is not only cruel but it is also irrational’
You know, I feel better already for writing this,,,,

Jan May 27, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Well, yes, it’s hurts… but God says He’ll not forgive us is we don’t forgive others (see Matthew 6:14,15). Sounds harsh, but it isn’t about forgiving another. Taking the step to forgive another who has wronged you, is about “YOU”. When we hold onto the grudge (unforgiveness), it begins to “fester”, “eat at us” so to speak, giving us a ‘calloused’ heart (hardened). Before long, the effects from it (stress, sleep loss, anger, malice, etc.) takes a toll upon our own health; and eventually turning us into someone unpleasant to be around.

Some of us may wonder if the LORD is on the enemy’s side; and… “Gee, how can the God of the Universe say He’ll not forgive us if/when we don’t forgive another—especially, when He sees they’re the ones who have done the hurting?”

I’ve wondered that myself. But have found refusal to forgive denies Him the opportunity to redeem our hurt. God also knows it does us no good to retaliate in any manner, or cling onto that anger. Listen, do we want Him to answer our prayers? Did you know then, He expects us to make peace with our brothers FIRST before approaching Him at His Throne (Matthew 5:24). If not, He won’t yield us His Face (see Isaiah 59:2). After all, He was the One Who pardoned (forgave) us through His own Son—yes, even when none of us deserved it. And as we’ve seen in the stories of King David (1st – 2nd Samuel) God’s the One Who’ll deal with our enemies—in His own way. Besides, the person who has wronged you is not hurting, nor worrying about it, so why should you? ‘YOU’ are the one suffering, not them. ‘You’ are the one who needs that comfort and peace within your own soul. Simply let it go—and forgive–just so you can be free from it—healed and completely restored. If you find it hard to forgive, tell Him about it; for He says we can cast all our cares upon Him (1 Peter 5:8). He knows pain; and simply by forgiving, He’ll ‘heal’ you of your wounds. And at the same token, allow Him to handle those who’ve wronged you.

Matthew Villarreal April 4, 2020 at 1:27 pm

Sad thing is, I wasn’t sure if this was satire at first because there are really people (Christians included) who think like this!

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