“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25-26)
This post was inspired by my friend who shared her problem. She has a problem to forgive her boyfriend who has been hurt her heart. I am interested to post this article because forgiving is often times be a difficult thing to do in our lives. Hopefully this article can be useful for many people who has same problem with my friend.
When we repented of our sin and asked for God to forgive us, He forgave us for all of our sins in the past and any we would commit in the future. It did not matter what sins we committed in our life. God was willing to forgive us. He knew our heart than we had a genuine sorrow for our sin.
There was only one perfect person, Jesus Christ. We are not perfect and sometimes people say things of do things to us that can cause hurt or anger. We have to remember that the other person is not perfect either. Whether they meant to do the things they did or said does not matter. They may not see that they have done something wrong.
If the person is another Christian we are directed to speak to them to let them know that we were offended or hurt by their actions (Matthew 18:15-17). If they do not listen we are to go to the person again with other Christians. After that point we are to go to the pastor of our church. God tells us that if they still do not hear then we are to let them be as ‘an heathen man’. We still have to forgive them for their actions.
What about the lost person that falsely accuses us, persecutes us, or commits some wrong against us? We need to look at the person through the eyes of God. They need Christ just like we did. On the cross Jesus made a request of God concerning His persecutors, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24). They do not understand the impact of their action and do not realize what they are doing is wrong in the eyes of God. We have to forgive them.
Forgiveness does not mean that we need to embrace the person who persecuted us by allowing them in our life to continue the persecution. It only means that we understand ‘they know not what they do’
Forgiveness is not initially about the person who wronged us; it’s about us. If we will not forgive someone who has hurt us, we start to change on the inside. We grow in anger and resentment. The quality of our own life continuously suffers and in this way, we compound the wrongdoing until it becomes something far more damaging than it originally was. One of the most important reasons we must forgive is that we cannot grow into the mature Christian whom Jesus is calling us to be with all that hurt and animosity building up inside us. Forgiveness is that act by which we release ourselves from our own prison of bitterness.
I know and realize that forgiving those who have hurt us is not an easy thing. But let’s we ponder this; God tells us that if we do not forgive that He will not forgive us . As a Christian this means that our prayer will be hindered. If this time we are struggling to forgive someone who has hurt us, do not rely on our own strength. Remember we are not the perfect person. Ask for God to help us so that we are able to forgive someone. God can give us the strength and understanding we need to forgive so that we can grow closer to the Lord. More than that, we have to pray for the people who have hurt us so that they are aware that they have done wrong to us. Forgiveness is about how we respond. If we follow Christ’s pattern, we still love the person who offended us, even to the point of death. That is love. Love and forgiveness go together.
My dear friends, what about us? whether we still have the spirit to forgiving? Are we still hard to forgive someone and still would not give forgiveness to everyone who has hurt us? If we realize that they are imperfect people like us who one day might also be able to hurt others? Once again, let’s we ponder this verse: “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Amen.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”Matthew18:35
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Thank you to my sister in Christ Julie http://followhislight.wordpress.com for your awesome suggestion on this post.
Photo credit: sunset in Uluwatu,Bali by Kimiko Sato