The Dilemma of forgiveness


One thing people must do is … wrong us.

Another thing they always do is …make mistakes.

We all know this yet every time it happens,we lament. We get upset and the funniest part is that we are always surprised. The truth is that there is really no need for lamentations and surprises. We just have to accept that it is human nature to do wrong; it is human nature to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect only God is perfect.

We too are also guilty of offending others and making mistakes. Many of the errors we commit happen unknowingly without any intention. Unfortunately that does not make us less guilty. Every time we point one finger, the other four keep pointing back at us… and with good reason. It is good for us to sometimes pause when we are about to carry out our actions in order to put ourselves in the other party’s shoes. When we feel offended do we expect understanding? Will we feel we deserve a chance to be allowed to explain? Perhaps we might even desire that our wrongdoings be brought to our attention so that we can make amends. If we feel that any of these questions describe our feeling in different situations, then perhaps we need to take our foot off the anger pedal and just forgive. Forgive others even before they realise they are wrong. Forgiveness is difficult to exercise but powerful enough to free your heart of anger and worry.  Realise that if people were wise, they would not go about offending others…especially you. Don’t let yourself go crazy because of their own errors of judgement.

Apart from the bible asking us to do unto others what we want them to do to us, it annoyingly says we have to forgive 70*7 times. Sometimes I get angry with those Jesus’s disciples for asking too many questions. Their inquisitive nature gave rise to this decree. Now we must obey because we can no longer claim ignorance. They allowed Jesus to give a clear order on forgiveness to the extent that Jesus brings it up in the Lord’s Prayer – “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  Therefore in not so many words, as long as we hold on to grudges, we are asking God not to forgive us!

Now it gets even worse – Matthew 5:23 – 24 takes it a step further: i call it the peace making decree: It says if you are about to dance happily to the altar and suddenly remember that “your brother has something against you” then stop and find him, make peace, before you continue that altar dance! Seriously?!?! Not only do you have to make peace with someone you have offended ( which honestly seems logical) , you also have to  look for those who have offended you (who by the way you may not want to hear about) Chai!! Na you do me wrong but na me go beg! To me, illogical!! However, our God up there thinks in ways different from us (Isaiah 55:8). Unfortunately, the way that may seem right to me (like begrudging my brother for wronging me) may lead to my destruction (proverb 14:12). So I have to obey God (1 Samuel 15:22). Obedience is better than sacrifice.

One thing I always do even against my own personal wish, is follow God’s commandment. It’s hard but it gets easier with time. Like everything else in life, (“na to start na im hard pass” –meaning that things are more difficult to begin with) but constant practice leads to perfection. If you resolve today to hold no grudge and start making peace with others,before long it will become second nature. Do you know what the best part is? You will be doing God’s will!

So today, let our prayer be – God teach us how to forgive all around us, you gave us the ultimate example on the cross, and you asked God to forgive us as we know not what we do. Help us to realise that those who wrong us know not what they do and so deserve our forgiveness in Jesus name, amen.

Please make peace with someone today. I know by God’s grace that as you read this piece, the names of those who have wronged you or those you have wronged might spring to your mind. Don’t ignore the urge to make peace, stop holding on to the pain they caused. Take the first step, make that call, and find that person. We all join you in prayers; let Jesus do the rest as he is a man of peace. If you let him, he will pour his peace into your life today and always.  I leave you with a quote by Charlotte Bronte which my father taught me when I was little – “life appears to me to be too short to be spent in registering wrongs and nursing animosity”.

Thank you for reading.

If you enjoyed this article, then trust me… you will love my meditations too! Look here to see them.

Photo credit: Pixabay.