There is so much literature written about forgiveness, yet to forgive is not an easy decision nor act. In my book ‘Divorce Not End of The Road’ I wrote a full chapter on forgiveness. However, having listened to a number of people I am counseling, I realized that most of us believe that forgiveness is easy. While I believe that forgiveness is a must, I also acknowledge that it is not an easy process. I am saying process because it is indeed a process of a long journey. Some people think that a decision to forgive or an act of forgiveness can be made quickly. I am convinced that in truth, forgiveness can be a long and difficult process yet doable.
Forgiveness is a must. I am emphasizing a must because the consequences of unforgiveness can be disastrous. Many people end up with bitterness, hate, anger, disease or death because they struggled to forgiving totally and in truth. There are many books written by qualified medical doctors and psychologists proving that there is a relationship between unforgiveness and physical or mental ill-health. I am not a medical doctor nor psychologist so I can’t write about this but you can google this to read for yourself. I, however, have experienced unforgiveness myself and have spiritually supported many brothers and sisters who have struggled with unforgiveness. To the glory of God, we managed to walk together in the journey towards total forgiveness and were blessed by Jehovah Raphah our only Healer, to find complete deliverance in the process. Was it easy? NO! It was a difficult process. Did we give up? NO! We made it to the end because God Almighty in His Word commanded us to forgive.
In the Lord’s Prayer we say ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. This is the key commandment Jehovah gave us. To this day, I continue to remind myself that God our Heavenly Father forgave me of my sins and never reminds me or condemns me of my past sins. It is therefore a MUST that I also forgive all those who trespass against me. I don’t have to keep a record of sins or of what others did to me. I also forgive myself as this is important. A lot of people cannot forgive themselves of their weaknesses, mistakes and sins, yet we have to. We are forgiven to forgive others including ourselves. The Lord said we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As we love ourselves means we need to love ourselves first by forgiving ourselves too. How can we love or forgive others when we cannot love or forgive ourselves? God is love and He loved us first before we loved Him. He forgave us by giving us His one and only begotten son to die for our sins. We have been forgiven – we thank Jesus for the blood.
We MUST completely and totally forgive and forget. Forgiving only and not forgetting is not sufficient. Many people still get to remember what their trespassers have done to them. This is like keeping a record of sins. God Almighty never keeps a record of sins for us. Why should we after forgiving others still remind ourselves or them of what they did? Many of us will say ‘I will forgive but will not forget!’ Is this right? How will not forgetting help us pass through the pain caused by others to us? Should we be reminded of their sins every time we see or talk to them? I know and understand that it is not easy but our goal should be total forgiveness and forgetting. Someone said to me ‘people who give always forgive but people who get always forget’. Let us get and give love through forgiveness.
A short story from my best friend who allowed me to share her story is a lesson that: FORGIVENESS IS A MUST. Here it goes:
She had been married for fifteen years to a caring husband and blessed with two kids. Last year (2016) they got divorced because she had met someone else who made her ‘achieve her dreams’. The husband and children were shuttered and heartbroken. After a few months she discovered that the man she fell in-love with was just a ‘con-man’ married with four children in another part of the country.
After breaking up with him, she then wanted to go back to her husband and children but they could not let her come back. They refused to forgive her. She came to me so I can try to reconcile her to her loved ones. It has been hard even for me to convince them. The children completely refuse to talk to her. Their father wants to forgive her and to allow her to come back home but the children are adamant that they don’t want to see her ever again. They even refuse to call her mom. Their father and both families tried to intervene but the children refuse to forgive her.
It is so painful to see how angry, disappointed, and bitter these children are towards their mother. While we continue to intercede for this family, the children are not doing well at school. One of them started having asthma attacks which are unexplainable to the medical doctors. This situation made me realize that forgiveness is a must. These children cannot be left to lead a life of unforgiveness. We have faith that soon they will realize that ‘to err is human, forgiveness divine’. I have faith that sooner the family will be reconciled and God Almighty will bind them together again with cords that will never ever be broken again.
As you read this blog, what thoughts go into your mind? Have you walked this journey before? How did you get to forgiving? Please share with us so we can encourage others espeacially our younger generation. We need to encourage them to forgive and let go of pain so they can be healthy adults.
Thank you for reading this blog and for sharing your journey with us!