Today, I am going to be talking about a topic that in my view is central to the Christian faith but yet seems somewhat difficult to walk in. This topic is forgiveness. The Bible is clear on the importance of forgiveness but why is it that believers struggle so much with forgiveness. You see it’s easy to forgive someone when the hurt is not much take for instance someone calling you names but in instances where a person cheats or betrays one’s trust, how easy is it then to forgive. In even more severe cases like sexual abuse and murder, is it truly possible to forgive? When Pastors preach about this topic in church, they make it seem as simple as abc, but is it really that simplistic. I believe that it takes a level of grace to forgive. This is because it is God’s grace that enables a man to look past the hurt/offence he has experienced.
Can one really forgive and forget? Yes, it is possible. I remember one time when I was offended with someone only to wake up one day and have no recollection whatsoever about what the person did lolz. I realised then that I had truly forgiven the person because I wasn’t holding that against the person. At times, it is possible to still have a recollection of what an offender did in our subconscious but as long as there is no hurt, grudge or hard feelings, it is safe to say one has forgiven the individual. Sometimes having a memory of the past is good so that we can apply more wisdom in the future. For example, if a friend betrays one’s trust, it is important to forgive that friend but it would be foolishness to put oneself in a position to repeatedly get hurt from that friend. Essentially, if an offender shows no sign of genuine repentance, the sensible thing to do is to apply wisdom in dealing with such a fellow.
We tend to find it hard to forgive because we the offended feel we are doing the offender a favour by forgiving them. Au contraire, we are doing our own selves the favour. You see when you forgive someone, it profits you – the offended more than the offender because you are releasing that person. Let me illustrate this with an analogy. Picture a bird that lives in a cage. No matter how well the bird owners take care of that bird, it will never be happy because of the environment it is living in. It is only when that bird is set free that it will be able to fulfil its purpose. In other words, unforgiveness is living in a cage while forgiveness is being set free and allowed to fly like a birdie. When you do not forgive someone, all your thoughts are focused on that person 24/7. You have sleepless nights over this person, you even begin to harbour malice and living this way is not healthy. What is funny is that the person one is offended with may be having the time of their lives whereas you the offended are drowning in sorrow.
Some people may not even ask for forgiveness or even acknowledge their offence, forgive them all the same. Why? Because the offended has more to lose than the offender. The bible says unforgiveness is a hindrance to answered prayers. Thus, it is so important to ensure that we settle any scores with any brother or sister before coming to God in prayers. If Jesus could endure all the hardship on the cross and could still forgive those that nailed Him there, indeed we must find inner strength to forgive as well. I would like to emphasize that sometimes forgiveness may not be an instant thing, it may be a gradual progression particularly if the hurt is very great. As God is healing the wounds, the forgiveness begins to take effect gradually until one has completely forgiven the person.
The Lord will surely give us the grace to forgive completely. Just be sincere, and ask Him to help you if you are battling with unforgiveness.
What are your thoughts on this topic folks? Have you found yourself in a situation where it was so difficult to forgive?
Would love to hear from you.