Some of the topics under the ‘pursuit of peace’ heading are so dear to me; I could write never-ending tales on them. This is one such topic. Hence, I am going to focus solely on ‘the reasons to forgive’ in this post.
As human beings, all of us are quick to judge others, but rather slow in discerning our own flaws. We seek compassion, understanding, mercy and kindness from all we come across. But we fail to apply the same rules to ourselves. I am not going to beat around the bush; the most important reason to forgive is because we need forgiveness ourselves. We cannot use a different scale as per our convenience. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5
Unforgiveness is a heavy burden too.It is like using your own body to hold a poison so potent that it consumes you as you store it with intent to unleash it on another instead. Forgiving brings healing and unlocks the doors of heavens for blessings. God knows just how difficult it is to forgive and He smiles lovingly at His children when they choose to forgive, especially when they have the power to destroy another who has wronged/hurt them.
Forgive because although revenge and resentment are easy, forgiving is extremely difficult. That is a sign of strength and character.
Forgive because it is the purest form of love. Human beings are social beings who require love and acceptance, a sense of belonging. No relationship/person is perfect. Every kind of relationship requires the practice of constant forgiveness. Forgive because no man can live like an island.
Forgive because you are grateful for the lessons you learned. Every situation has a lesson to offer. We learn best from our biggest mistakes and the worst situations.
Forgive because peace is far too precious. Forgiving someone sets you free. Not only do you feel lighter, but you finally have control over your mind and emotions again. Instead of letting them continue to rule and ruin your thoughts, it is better to forgive and be happy.
Forgive because God is not dead and He knows how to use a bad situation to your advantage if you follow His ways. He is also a better judge than you. So whatever you lost, be it peace, joy, time, possessions, people, recognition….God will balance the scales for you.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the king ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The king took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told the king everything that had happened.
“Then the king called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger the king handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” – Matthew 18:21-35
Some more verses:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. – Luke 17:4
If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13
And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone, so that your Father in heaven will forgive the wrongs you have done. – Mark 11:25
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. -Luke 6:37
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44
There are innumerable verses in the Bible that repeat this message : forgive and you shall be forgiven.
Watch out for forgiveness-related topics in my future posts:
- Free does not mean Cheap
- Forgiveness when there is Active Bleeding