Forgiveness is a(your) conscious decision to let go of any thoughts of resentment or revenge as a result of an offense committed by someone else(against you). This offense might be intentional or totally unintentional; might be light or grave and it is possible the scars or repercussions remain forever visible on you. Forgiveness does not mean that we should refuse to express our hurt feelings towards another; forgiveness doesn’t justify the wrong deed; forgiveness is what makes one rise up after falling, gives peace, strength and grace to move on despite the hurt.
But what if we could just quickly forgive each other? I mean “quickly”.
The world, which was defined as “very good” in Genesis has become a dangerous place to live in because of the lack of forgiving spirits. Every other spirit is available except the forgiving spirit. Some even say they are filled with the Holy Spirit and yet can’t forgive those who hurt them. Hate is everywhere, it’s the biggest industry nowadays and more members are signing up by the minute. The society is worsening every day, people are bad, evil and desperately wicked. Lying, deception / deciet, fraud, violence and murder are the new social norms.
Some people set out each day looking for whom to offend. And just when you feel you are “minding your own business”, someone-somewhere, even your own flesh and blood could take such as an offense. Abel was busy offering his own sacrifice to God but he didn’t know he was offending his brother Cain who became jealous because God rejected his own offering. Cain eventually killed Abel.
The truth is that as long as there are human beings in this world, someone somewhere, somehow and sometime would offend you. It might be a stranger or someone you know. It is easier to forgive a total stranger than to forgive someone you love and care about. The reasons are obvious: you expect so much more from someone you hold dear: family relations, friends, colleagues and work, neighbors, etc.
A lot of relationships, especially “love and friendships” are destroyed today because one party in the relationship won’t quickly forgive the other for any wrong done. Note the word “quickly”. It is important to quickly forgive one another so that both the offended and the offender can move on with their individual lives. For example: a lot of marriages are tearing apart, couples are in court or on each other’s necks all because the husband cannot forgive the wife, and vice-versa.
One thing many people don’t understand is that no matter how good, caring, compassionate, loving and “almost perfect” a brother, sister, father, mother, son, friend / husband or wife, colleague at work is, one day, he/she will do something that offends you. Even twins offend each other, talk less of two entire strangers brought together by fate or luck sometime in their lives.
I heard a statement some years ago and it has helped me look at issues more squarely. It goes like this: GOD SANCTIFIES THE HUMAN HEART, NOT THE BRAIN!. This might sound too far-fetched but it is true. The Bible does not give us an account of any human brain in the Bible that was sanctified. This means it is possible for someone close to you, could even be someone you look up to as a mentor, father or leader to do something very silly – something for which you might want to ask: didn’t you know what this / that is? Isn’t this or that just so obvious? can’t you see what is right in front of your nose?
For example: when someone you expect to see you passes(while frowning) by, right in front of you without looking at you, then the thought runs through your mind that he/she is displeased with you / holding some grudges against you, but maybe the truth is that he/she didn’t actually see you. Then you become angry; grudges start, gossips follow, disregard and disrespect comes next and before long, the relationship is broken.
What if we stop misintepreting each others words and actions?
What we forget to remember is that we are as guilty of sin and wrong-doing to God as our fellow human is guilty of sin and wrong-doing to us. If you refuse to forgive, you are doing yourself more harm than the person who have refused to forgive.
What if we could just forgive each other.
In reality, Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves and not for other people.