by; Carol Donaal
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
“The act of forgiving someone who offended us” may seem a sign of weakness unto others. But on the contrary, as Mahatma Ghandi, an Indian lawyer, once said, “Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong”. A weak person cannot genuinely forgive an offender but a person who forgive understands that pardoning an offender can only be done upon the surrender of oneself unto God which requires a willing act of strength of the heart and strength of the mind. It is not indeed an easy thing to do in the human plane.
However, Jesus Christ, while in the likeness of man, demonstrated to us that human weakness is not a hindrance to forgiveness. While at the cross, He mentioned, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”. He immediately released forgiveness to the Roman soldiers who spitefully battered Him. We can see here that it was easy for Him to forgive. It must be because He was able to look into the end result or to the benefits of forgiveness rather than on the magnitude or the graveness of the offense. How many of us then do the same thing? Do we put a greater weight to the positive effects of forgiveness rather than capitalizing on the wrongs committed against us?
It is always best to be free from all sorts of emotional pain because it will not only make us strong spiritually but it will also keep us physically healthy. All forms of grudges or bitterness in our hearts are garbage that will poison us ultimately. They are also undue excess baggage that will deter our rapid movement towards the finish line. It will cause us to linger on things and distract our focus. It will also destroy our accurate perspective of things. We will have unfounded negative prejudices to people. Therefore, we should stay clean and pure in our hearts and minds by practicing the value of forgiveness.
We should pray, thus, the prayer taught to us by Jesus Christ. Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us. It was subsequently written that we should forgive others their trespasses so that our sins will also be forgiven because if we do not, then we cannot expect ourselves to be forgiven. It is a command that we should obey, otherwise, we will reap the adverse consequences. We must not let the offense imprison us any longer. We should set ourselves free. As the renowned theologian Lewis Smedes said, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” We should not therefore prolong the state of our imprisonment when we have been given the choice or opportunity to free ourselves.
A Gospel preacher also said in his sermon: “Forgiveness protects and frees us from the prison of self-righteousness and self-condemnation”. This statement should be a compelling challenge to forgive and any unwilling person can be said to be filled with pride. Thus, we should have a humble attitude if we are to observe the value of forgiveness. Just as we have been forgiven, we must learn to forgive. It is in giving that we receive.
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.