Guest Post By Katherine Shyru
The world views forgiveness as excusing intolerable actions. It insists on ‘justice’.
Human fairness sometimes stipulates ‘an eye for an eye’; that life is never fair and it’s full of things that can never be excused. “If a man takes unto himself God’s right to punish, then he must also take upon himself God’s promise to restore” this simply means that if anyone chooses to go down the road of revenge, then he should be able to finish that which he started, that is restore. That is why the bible clearly asks us to leave revenge to God. Romans 12:19, because our God is so merciful, He also restores.
Forgiveness is a decision of the will. Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to obey God and forgive. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not ever change, but that doesn’t negate God’s desire that we possess a forgiving spirit (Matthew 5:44). Ideally, the offender will seek reconciliation, but, if not, the one wronged can still make a decision to forgive.
Total forgiveness takes all the pain and burden away when you lay it all down to Jesus. Mathew 11:29-30.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Of course, it is impossible to truly forget sins that have been committed against us. We cannot selectively “delete” events from our memory. The Bible states that God does not “remember” our wickedness (Hebrews 8:12). But God is still all-knowing. God remembers that we have “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). But, having been forgiven, we are positionally (or judicially) justified. Heaven is ours as if our sin had never occurred. If we belong to Him through faith in Christ, God does not condemn us for our sins (Romans 8:1). In that sense, God “forgives and forgets.”
The ideal is to forgive and forget. Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5) and covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). However, changing hearts is God’s business, and, until an offender has a true, supernatural heart change, it is only wise to limit the level of trust one places in that person. Being cautious doesn’t mean we haven’t forgiven. It simply means we are not God and we cannot see that person’s heart.
So why should we forgive? I will share a few reasons why forgiving is very important
1) Forgiveness brings healing
– This is a very imperative point simply because; one can never be truly free until he has forgiven. You can lie to yourself that you have moved on and that you are now living your life, but the only way you can truly certain of healing is when you decide to forgive. Forgiving helps you let go!
2) You are not flawless
– The strongest motivation for forgiving is always the sense of having received it yourself. You have also done things that need to be forgiven, so if you have been forgiven by God, isn’t it only fair that you do the same?
3) Forgiving is a sign of love
– The second greatest commandment is that we should love each other as we love ourselves. One way that truly shows our love for each other is forgiving. Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend. We can only get rid of an enemy by getting rid of the enmity!
4) The forgiving act must be initiated by the person who has been wronged
– This might sound unfair and impossible. But look at the story of the prodigal son, how the father was eagerly waiting for the son to come back home, he had already forgiven him even before he’d asked for his forgiveness (Luke 15:11-32). This is because the wrongdoer only requests for forgiveness, it is the victim that has the burden of whether to give it or to deny it. The victim is the only one who can start or end the forgiveness process.
Finally, as Christians, we are called to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:16-18). It is very clear that we should try to be at peace with all and forgiveness is a door to peace and happiness. How and why should we embrace and love someone who is harming/killing us? This is self-destruction, right? Wrong! We cannot heal without being willing to be hurt. I know that’s a bit confusing. What I simply mean is, if we are truly sincere in our salvation, then we will definitely get hurt. People will take advantage of your kindness, generosity, your forgiving nature; yet it’s only the act of forgiving that will keep you from being bitter.
Salvation must cost something if it is to have any lasting effect. Think about this and ask God for the grace to forgive.
If you want to learn more about forgiveness, I recommend you read WHY FORGIVE? by Johann Christoph Arnold.
Guest Article By Katherine Shyru
Do have a blessed weekend!