IT IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE!
Growing up as young Christians, our parents always taught us the ways of the Lord and forgiveness was an important virtue we never got weary to learn. I have heard so many talks on the subject of forgiveness; in fact the most common phrase on this matter I hear people say is "forgive and forget". Everyone expects you as a human to forgive whatever offenses and grievances and just forget automatically like it never happened right?! Easier said than done.
In our life's journey, we do experience hurt, slander and offense from people and the encounters that hurt most are from close friends and families we trust. It is expected that we forgive and immediately forget. Frankly, it is very difficult to sincerely forgive and forget like we were taught without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Offense is orchestrated by the devil and he uses people as instruments to achieve this goal. One of the goals of the enemy is to hinder us from reaching our next level and not venture into the divine state God has ordained for us. A frequently used strategy by the enemy is the snare of OFFENSE.
When the devil brings offense through anyone or any situation, realize it is his strategy to distract and hinder our prayers and communion with the Holy Spirit. Can you pray effectively when hurt and offended? No! I have tried it and it is impossible to have anger in your hearts and pray at the same time. If you are able to pray, often it is a prayer of judgement on the individual.
The Lord takes this issue seriously. The scripture tells us in Mathew 5:23-24 -"if you bring a gift to the altar and remember someone has something against you, leave it at the altar and be reconciled with you brother first then come and offer the gift".
Forgiveness brings freedom - it releases us from the heavy burden of carrying around anger in our hearts. You can never be free of the situation until you extend forgiveness. It is for our good and does not make us less of who we are.
Forgiveness exhibits the nature of Christ in us- LOVE. We are living epistles in people's lives and our lives should reflect that of Christ. Christ forgave us while we were yet sinners. As seen in the scriptures, in "Romans 5:8 --God commanded His love towards us that, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" He didn't wait for us to apologize before He forgave us. He forgave us even while in sin. We are now representatives of Christ here on earth.
When we are hurt and treated unfairly, how do we respond? What will Jesus do in our case?
When offended, it is expedient to refrain from saying anything out of anger because we might regret them later and fall short of God's expectation.
- Talk to God first. It is okay to tell him exactly how you feel. If you need to cry, cry to God for He is your father and he will listen.
- Ask the Holyspirit to help you forgive and heal every hurt, pains and brokenness. Find healing in God and His word.
- Ask God what lessons you need to learn from the seemingly ugly experience so you do not go through it another time.
- Plead the blood of Jesus over your mind and heart and He will come through for you. Seek God's help.
We are outside of God's hedge when we allow un-forgiveness to sit in our hearts and this is a very dangerous zone to be. We open up legal grounds for the enemy to strike when we live in un-forgiveness.
If you want God to forgive you, forgive others too. For what you sow, you will reap. God has big plans for us and make sure un-forgiveness never deters you from it.
Never let anyone steal your joy or keep you under. God's grace is more than enough.