FORGIVENESS- Rev. Elekima Ekine
“Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” Matt. 18vs7
We cannot do without offences, why? Because, we are human beings at different levels of perfection or imperfection, so, there will always be a need to give up resentments for wrongs done to us. Forgiveness consists of “Pardon” which means to excuse an offence without exerting penalty.
“Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. “Mark 11vs 24-26
Once we believe, we will have whatever we desire and pray for, but then it says before praying we should forgive.
Two things stand out here; one, when are we supposed to believe? Two, when are we supposed to forgive? We believe when we pray and forgive when we pray. In other words, forgiveness comes before prayer, lest our prayer goes unanswered. It is quite possible to excuse our acts of unforgiveness especially when we do not feel like it, but then, we should not pray either! Believers are obligated to forgive any form of wrong done them, no matter the gravity; which brings the question : As believers is there any offence we cannot forgive?
Forgiveness is not consequent on the offender asking for it, but on the one that was wronged. Unforgiveness is toxic to the human system. It is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die from it. This is why we cannot wait to be asked before forgiving.
Forgiveness is rooted in the character of God and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. To forgive is a duty and no limits can be set on it. When Jesus said we are to forgive our brothers seventy times seven times which by the way is just in a day. What He was simply saying is: there is no end to forgiveness; it is forever!
No matter the wrong anyone has done us, it cannot be compared to our offence against God; we are a forgiven people. This is the number one reason we must forgive. Secondly, God commanded us to forgive. (Eph. 5vs1). Thirdly, Unforgiveness does more damage to us, because resentment is poison to our system. Lastly, whatever we do not forgive, we end up doing; whoever we do not forgive, we end up being.
Facts about Forgiveness
-It is an act of faith, since we may not feel like it
-It is an act of will
-It cannot be earned since nobody deserves it.
Col.3vs 13 “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. “
Jesus Christ forgave and died for our sins even when we did not merit or ask for it, while on the cross He said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” Stephen said so too. We need to come to a place where we realize whoever wrongs us, does not know what they are doing, whatever anyone has done, let us understand it is not worth not forgiving.