The Healing Power of Forgiveness
As Christians, we should be frequent readers of the word of God. If you frequently read the bible, you must have observed that reconciliation and forgiveness are taught throughout the entire bible. The bible has more than 100 references teaching about the concept of forgiveness, and for this reason, it is an important topic to discuss.
The true definition of forgiveness is not about forgetting people and what they did to you or acting like it does not matter. Forgiveness is typically a process that allows you to let go of the need to pay someone back or seek revenge for the harm done to you or your loved one. If you truly forgive someone, you do not want to see harm come to them; that is ” a taste of their own medicine.” The good thing about forgiveness, it takes away the painful burden of bitterness and hatred and lets you heal completely from the pain you have been experiencing.
The first thing we need to comprehend about forgiveness is that it applies to God and us. Our relationship is hurt whenever we disobey our Creator, and if we fail to repent and ask for forgiveness, our relationship and communication with him are fractured.
Jesus Christ suffered unrighteousness, and no individual could have suffered more unrighteously than Jesus Christ. According to Mark 9:23, His last words were, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” The truth is that forgiveness is not easy, but at the same time, it is not impossible.
It is not in us to forgive but by the help of the Holy Spirit. If you know that you do not have the power to forgive, it is great to find it in Christ. Philippians 4: 12-13, God tells us that we can do all things through His power and so; What is preventing you from asking for His power, and yet He is your father?
Jesus loved to teach in parables, and a good parable that explains forgiveness is “The Parable of the Unmerciful Servants.” This parable tells us the story of a servant who owed a King a huge sum of money. The servant did not have the money to pay back the King, so he knelt before the King seeking forgiveness. The King had mercy and forgave the servant of all of his debts. Someone else also owed the servant a small amount of money, and after the servant had left the King’s palace, he went and asked his friend to pay him his debt. His friend begged for more time because he did not have the money to repay the debt, but the servant refused and threw him in jail.
The King heard the news and was furious as he had forgiven and shown mercy on his servant. He felt that the servant should have forgiven or rather shown mercy to his friend, just like the King had done. Due to this, the King threw him in jail until he raised the large sum of money that he owed him. This parable applies to our daily lives. God is the King, and He forgives our sins whenever we ask for His forgiveness, but do we reciprocate the same and forgive others? Whenever we fail to forgive, we make God angry since he has shown mercy on us. He let his only begotten son die on the cross for our sins to be forgiven (John 3:16). Why not emulate Him and forgive our enemies?
After the parable, Peter asked Jesus how often he should forgive, Mathew 18:21-22, and Jesus replied not seven times, but Seventy-seven times. In the gospel of Mathew, Christ said that for us to be forgiven, we must forgive.My dad has always been my mentor, and he is the reason I have achieved so much in life. I remember a story he narrated one day when I quarreled with my older sister. He told me a story of two brothers who lived together on their own farm until, one day, they had a foolish argument. This was the first major disagreement between the two for over fifty years.
Until that day, they had lived happily together and shared their produce and knowledge and lending a helping hand whenever one of them needed help.
The fight started over a small misunderstanding, which is normal in our daily lives, but this argument resulted in an exchange of words followed by a long silence. One day, someone knocked on the elder brother’s door, and when he opened it, an old carpenter was holding a toolbox asking whether the farm needed any repair. He replied,“Yes, there is a job for you. There is a farm that belongs to my younger brother on the far end, but recently things have escalated, and he has changed the path that connected both of our farms, making it a border between us. I have shown him love for a long time, but now it’s time for everyone to live his own life. I want you to build a 10-foot fence so that I will never see his face again.”
The old carpenter thought about it for some time and said he would do as requested. The older brother helped the old man carry his tools and wood and then drove to the city for some assignments. When he returned, the carpenter had finished the job, and upon arriving at the border, he was amazed. His mouth was wide open, and he could not utter a single word.
The old carpenter had built a bridge where a fence should have been standing. Coincidentally, the younger brother happened to be on the same spot, and upon seeing the bridge, he rushed over the bridge and hugged his brother and said, ” You are unique, building a bridge after everything I have said and done to you.” While both were embracing, the old carpenter picked his toolbox and started walking away. The brothers tried to persuade him to stay, but he replied, ” I would have loved to, but I have more bridges to build and fix things elsewhere.”
From this story, the moral lesson is very simple, we always let anger and hate push us away from our loved ones and let pride take control, but we should learn to forgive and appreciate each other with what we have. Always remember that you cannot change your past, but you can change the future. If your connection is true, no misunderstanding or quarrel can spoil it. Therefore, let us build bridges and always cross them with a real smile on our faces. Colossians 3: 13 tells us to bear with each other and forgive if we have grievances against each other. We should forgive as God forgave us.