Forgive As An Expression Of Love
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).
Given to the above scripture, God demands us to completely forgive without repeating every time the nature of the offence to the person. Some time ago a brother shared with us what a brother in the Lord wrote to him. He wrote, ‘I have forgiven you for the offence you committed against me’ while he was repeating the offence the brother committed against him and at the same time he was piling more offences onto the record. After reading the entire lamentation, I felt the spirit of unforgiveness and bitterness from the content of that letter. Now, not only did that brother not forgive, he showed his unforgiveness through his disengagement with the other brother. Additionally, this brother’s unforgiveness was further expressed through his repeating to others the offence, now isn’t that a grand unforgiving spirit?
Scripturally, God is Love or Love is God. Let us consider what we read in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ‘’Love is patient, love is kind. it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes, and always perseveres”.
Repeating The Offence To Others Equals Unforgiveness
Have you ever forgiven someone and when they commit another offence to you; you simply go back to the past reminding the person what he or she did some time ago, are we able to really say I forgave you in the first instance? (Luke 17:4). NO! Needless to say, many Christians are struggling to forgive but they sing very loud and preach well-prepared messages when they see the brother or sister who offended them they are being clothed with the spirit of Haman-hatred but he wanted an audience with the King (Esther 5:13). In contrast, how would a Christian be given an audience with King Jesus when they hate and harbour unforgiveness towards their brother whom they can see?
There is a huge difference between brushing something aside and really forgiving someone. With me (Charis), God really deals with me when I am struggling to forgive someone. I will literally dream about the person several times a week (imagine how uncomfortable that is) until I surrender to God and really allow God to take over and ‘flush’ me clean with His Holy Spirit. I literally give Him that load and once the Lord took the load (burden) I enjoy an unexplainable feeling of deep peace, joy and comfort.
Going back to the previous two articles we shared with you: ‘’Including God’’ and ‘’Beauty in Christ’’ we emphasised that we need to include God in our journey of forgiving others and let that add to our beauty in Christ, not mention all the blessings we stand to inherit!