Today’s exhortation – forgiveness
Forgiveness is all about us and very little about the offender because ultimately it’s for our own good. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on the offender’s behaviour but on our desire to heal and be healed. (Romans 5:6-11). Also whilst we hold the offender in the prison of unforgiveness, we may find ourselves also held in the prison of bitterness and hurt. Sometimes the person is oblivious to our hurt and pain and we’re the ones who suffer. But it must be noted that Forgiveness is not the following:
1- “Excusing or condoning wrong!” It never approves or justifies evil, reprehensible or wrong behaviour. It’s not okay because everyone does it or they couldn’t help it.
2- “Treating a wrong as if it didn’t matter” or denying that we’ve been hurt.
3- “forgetting it,” as if we hit delete, our brains go blank. We can’t forget the evils of the past else we lose lessons from them
4- “it’s not given because the person deserves it or earned it.” Jesus forgave His executioners even though they didn’t repent or deserve it.
5- it’s also not necessarily “reconciliation or restoration”‘to one’s former position of trust or power. Eg, a wife who forgives her husband for abuse shouldn’t automatically be expected to return to him. It may not be the wise or safe thing to do depending on the circumstances. A real repentance on his part has to take place before a loving relationship is possible.
Having said all this, I believe forgiveness is letting go of a record of wrongs and the need for vengeance and releasing the associated negative feelings such as bitterness and resentment. It’s probably the most selfish thing we must do because it’s more for us than anyone else. I pray The Lord reveals to us areas of our lives we need to forgive so we can be free…..