When And How Often Do We Forgive Others?
Kenneth and Kimberly have been dating for years; right from their mid teens, even when other suitors came calling she kept rejecting them because of Kenneth. Well, in between those years she committed 3 abortions for Kenneth because he wasn’t ready as at that time. When Kenneth was ready to settle down she was already in her thirties, and then Kenneth felt he isn’t into her anymore and there’s probability of her not giving birth due to the abortions. So, he went ahead and got married to someone else. What should Kimberly do?
Sends assassins to assassinate him for wasting her youthful age?
Go to a native doctor to help make Kenneth impotent?
Wake up in the middle of the night, strip herself naked, with tears in hers eyes lay a curse that will haunt him for the rest of his life?
Hold him in her heart and never forgive him?
Or forgive him?
Wow! Did I say forgive?
What does the bible say about forgiveness???
So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the alter, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God. [Mathew 5:23-24]
“If you forgive others the wrong they have done to you, your father in Heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done. [Mathew 6:14-15]
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven,”[Mathew 18:21-22]
And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in Heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. [Mark 11:25]
“Forgive us our sins, for we forgive everyone who does us wrong. And do not bring us to hard testing.” [Luke 11:4]
So watch what you do! “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” [Luke 17:3-4]
Now, however, you should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. [2 Corinthians 2:7]
Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ. [Ephesians 4:32]
Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. [Colossians 3:13]
For God will not show mercy when he judges the person who has not been merciful; but mercy triumphs over judgment. [James 2:13]
So, when and how often do we forgive? Do you wait till he/she comes to ask for your forgiveness?
“He killed my parent, claimed our inheritance and left my siblings and I homeless. Can I forgive him?” God says, forgive!
“He promised me marriage, got me pregnant and denied me in the presences of my family and friends who caused me untold shame, how can I ever forgive him?” God says, forgive!
“I have been struggling my way through school and just when I was about to graduate he was the reason why I was rusticated in my final year, I don’t think I will ever forgive him” God says, forgive!
And the reasons for not forgiving goes on and on.
Dear, we have no excuse, whatsoever not to forgive, yea, it hurts just thinking about it. Yes! I know but God has commanded us to forgive.
Mother Theresa said, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love.” It could be very hard to sincerely forgive those who hurt us but we could if WE WANT TO. If you are finding it hard to forgive someone the hurt he/she has caused you, start praying for him/her. It works. Tell God how you earnestly and sincerely want to forgive those people as he has commanded us to do, surely, He will help erase the pain.
Forgiveness is a therapy for anger; it heals both the donor and the recipient. Unforgiveness works like this, you hold the person and lock him/her up in your heart by refusing to forgive, the person is now the prisoner while you are the warden. A warden who doesn’t go for shift but keeps watch over the prisoner day and night because he/she is always in your heart, are you not also a prisoner yourself? Forgive! And set yourself free, it pays a lot.
Do not waste your eternity in hell because of unforgiveness. Honestly, it won’t be funny.