As human beings, we tend to look at others and their faults, not realizing that we too are aren’t perfect. It can seem as if everyone puts the blame on you but they never see that they too have hurt others. It is where we must choose to let go and forgive or keep the grudge in our hearts and create bitterness. Our lives as women of God should be pleasure, pure and meek. There should never be a time in our lives where we hold grudges on people for a length of time because it does not change the way people act towards you. You have to choose to forgive those who have hurt you because you are not perfect yourself.
Jesus did not have to die for us but He chose to do so. We are worthless, and He is worthy, and because of His blood we are covered in Him. When I reflect back on those who have hurt me, my flesh at times wants to retaliate, however when I think about the beatings and wounds they placed on Jesus, for Him to go through the pain for you and I should take away our pride and forgive. There is a reason why God gave us two ears and one mouth; so that we can listen more and talk less. When a friend has offended you, listen to the person. Not everyone around you desires to hurt you intentionally. Some on the other hand have been through secret painful moments that all they can do is pass the hurt onto you. We have all been there when something or someone has hurt us, and instead of solving the problem with a friend, we take it out on them.
People like this do not have love in their hearts because someone who loves would not emotionally strain a friend but would want their support. Why is it today that we find it so hard to forgive? Don’t you know that forgiveness opens so many doors to your blessings? Even though you may be prospering physically, spiritually you are weak because you chose not to forgive. Forgiveness is a hard topic for some of us to digest; at times it becomes underestimated and abused, because we say we forgive with our mouths, but our hearts are far away from it. When you hear your friend talking about the person that hurt you, all of a sudden your mind becomes stiff and hard to operate because you have chosen to open up the wound of what your friend did to you in the past. Darling, you are not living in the pas, you are living in the NOW! Don’t allow your past to dictate your present situation, else you’ll think you’re moving forward, but really you are going two steps backwards.
Lets take a look at what the Bible says about the power of forgiveness:
- Mark 11:25 – “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”.
- Matthew 6:15 – “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
- Matthew 18:22-22 – “Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven”.
- James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working”.
- Luke 17:3-4 – “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him”.
Remember a person who does not forgive hates their own self! When you love yourself, you will find it easy to forgive. When you want God to open a door for you, you will have no choice but to let go. Delayed blessings may hurt for a while, but you must have at the back of your mind that if you choose not to forgive, don’t expect an extraordinary blessing. Even when you can’t forgive yourself, you will find it hard to progress in life. I personally found it hard to forgive myself when I was a teenager. I didn’t realise that regardless of what I did, God still loved me, but at that time I wasn’t spiritually strong. Until I continued to take my personal journey with God, that is when I realised that when I was unfaithful, He is STILL FAITHFUL!
Forgiving other people is a strength. It is only a fool that keeps bitterness in their hearts. What makes you enjoy life without forgiveness? Impossible! It won’t work because you’ll keep dwelling on the problem rather than finding a solution. When you think about a struggle for so long, it will drain you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Your social life will deteriorate and you will start to close your heart and become bitter. Stop memorizing what people have done to you, and remind yourself daily that you are forgiven by Christ! It does not matter what you have done or what someone has done to you. What makes you a bigger person is choosing to forgive. We all want God to open doors for us right? How can this by done? By listening and obeying the Word of God. Remember Luke 17:3-4 talks about how you must rebuke your neighbor if he/she sins against you and if he/she changes, you must forgive. No matter the amount of times someone has hurt you, choose to let go because no matter what happens, you will be worse off than the offender.
If God had not included forgiveness in His plan for humanity, none of us would enjoy life renewed with Him in heaven. Without forgiveness there would be no hope at all.
Because of God’s nature, He forgives on a daily basis. If there were no forgiveness at all, we will live a miserable life. You will start hating yourself the more, start breaking things in the house, until you COME BACK TO YOUR SELF and realise everything you have broken has to be replaced. Your anger does not have to involve breaking the house down, whether psychically or verbally to your siblings and parents, but can be solved through genuine prayer through seeking God. If God can forgive us of our sins, why can’t we too forgive others? Remember that forgiveness is not for the weak. Being able to forgive those who have wronged you is a mark of spiritual strength and confidence. When you forgive, you grow, your heart begins to heal, your back straightens up, your eyes clear so that you can see clear, so that you can see the road ahead. Anger is a spiritual sickness; but when you forgive you live.
When I think about the Cross, my heart tightens because of the sacrifice Christ made for You and I. Even when the chief officers were accusing and spitting on Him, Christ did not retaliate but instead He said “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:24). Could you pray for your enemies like that? Even if one was to spit on you, could you humble yourself enough to not retaliate but just pray? It was not easy for Jesus and certainly it won’t always be easy for us, but because of the love that God has for Christ and ourselves, He will give us the strength and GRACE to forgive!
For those who may not be Christians or are new to the Faith, it won’t always be easy to forgive or receive forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says; “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. It really is that simple! This is not just a confession though. We all have confessed words in our lives that we didn’t feel regret for. This type of confession described here is a confession of heart-felt shame from what we have done and that is what brings humility and meekness. This is a confession of remorse for what has taken place. This remorse goes hand-in-hand with repentance because when you cry out to God for His forgiveness of your sins, you must not forget about your repentant heart; a repentant heart is a healthy heart. Without it, you will fall right back into the same sin.
Sisters, choose today to forgive all who have hurt you. Remember no one knows tomorrow, but because God lives we CAN face tomorrow. Every word that is uttered from your lips is being recorded by God in Heaven, so choose what you say wisely to your fellow brothers and sisters. Do not allow your anger to control you but be an example of Christ on earth. You want to be rewarded for the good things you have done on earth. God is not someone who will hold your guilt against you; it is you that is holding it against you. Without forgiveness, nothing in your life will satisfy you. You can eat as much as you like, drink as much as you like, party as much as you like, but without forgiveness, you are living a life without oxygen!
To conclude ladies, enjoy the life that God granted you and choose to let go and forgive. Forgiveness is a strength not a weakness! Never bring up a past fault of what someone did, especially when they are very apologetic. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and see how you treat them, for how you treat people will determine how God will bless you.
Remember, forgiveness warms the heart and cools the sting!