Wear Forgiveness Like a Crown!
What I learnt during Easter.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” Ephesians 4: 31-32. Jesus never sinned, but He was willing to take our sins on Himself. He paid for our sin on the rugged cross between two thieves. Jesus was innocent but paid our debt! Three days later, He defeated death and rose again from the dead with the power to give! He gave us a new hope and eternal life!
We forgive others out of love and because we focus on the future and who we are before God. Forgiveness is also a goodwill that we extend to the person who has offended us. Therefore, in order to forgive, one needs to show love which tolerates and accommodates much beyond human understanding, just like Jesus Christ.
“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Luke 11:4. Likewise, in the parable of the unmerciful slave, Jesus equated forgiveness with canceling a debt. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle debts with his servants” Matthew 18:23-35. Forgiveness is purely unconditional and absolute. It can not be earned, bought or bargained for.
We forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered. The Bible teaches that unselfish love is the basis for true forgiveness, since “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. Subsequently, a life without forgiveness is a life half lived. Pride and stubbornness hinders forgiveness and denies us the ability to experience happiness and pity, things stop to flow positively and we end up attracting a cloud of negativity all the time.
Jesus forgive the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and extended it to Peter who denied Him three times (Matthew 26:26-69, John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 3:8-9, 4:8). Joseph the son of Jacob also forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery (Genesis 37-50). There is also the story of the prodigal son who was forgiven by his father (Luke 15:1-32). Therefore, the offender should humble himself in repentance before the offended for forgiveness to be granted. This is exactly what God does for us (1 John 1:9). Like God, who does not bring our sins back up again, we too must never bring back up sins that have been forgiven (Psalms 103:12). We must stand ready to forgive again if needed (Matthew 18:21-22).
We are all descendants of Adam and Eve and linked to the ancestral sin that they first committed in the Garden of Eden for being rebellious to God. Therefore, we are not perfect and no one will ever be. We all fall short of God’s glory. What matters is whether we acknowledge our mistakes and sins and repent. If only Adam and Eve could ask God to forgive them, right now we would be in paradise just the way God intended. Instead, they were quick to defend themselves and blame Satan!
Imperatively, you need to examine yourself and acknowledge your mistakes and shortcomings and forgive yourself first. Self-forgiveness is often the first step toward a more loving and positive relationship with yourself, and with others. If you are able to forgive yourself, you will easily forgive others. We should always have the eyes that see the best out of people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad and a soul that never loses faith in God.
When you move on from the past, it means you are blocking bitterness and anger from eating your soul. If you don’t forgive, you hold a grudge that only eats you up inside while the person you are angry with is living their life happily. Why take poison for other people?
There is more to life than holding grudges, forgive and let go. Free yourself from the ‘’prison’’ of bondage. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Forgiveness heals, brings peace and joy in our hearts.
Sometimes, the people who hurt us are actually our stepping-stones. They teach us lessons that help us in future. Whenever someone wrongs you, take it as a lesson and don’t hold it against them. In our suffering, we can change situations through prayers. Pray for your enemies and seek divine strength from God to forgive. The Bible says, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”. Luke 6:27-28. Life is too short to hold grudges, focus on things that matter and surrender all to God, He is the ultimate judge!
When you decide to forgive, remember it will not be easy. There will be constant reminders of pain and heartache that you went through because of that person and anger that might result into hate. Somehow, you will be tempted to revenge. However, God reminds us ‘’you shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD’’. Leviticus 19:18. You have to choose to ignore those reminders and focus on what you stand for. Don’t condemn them neither should you judge. You have more to gain in forgiving than in holding onto that grudge and feeling intimidated. Gods’ love and forgiveness is seen in our ability to love and forgive. Release and let go of that burden of unforgiveness and live a carefree and happier life. Your capacity to experience blissful joy is in direct correlation with your ability to forgive yourself and others.
When something has suffered damage and has a history, it makes it more beautiful and blessed.
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