Today I’m thrilled to welcome Chizoba Morah as she talks about forgiveness.
Time and time again, I have observed, in my life and the in the lives of others, that it is so easy to say “I am a child of God”. However, when events happen in our lives, it is always not easy to put into practice what we should. An area where this is so common, is the area of forgiveness. It is so much easier to advise someone to forgive, when the situation is not a personal one. I have listened to people who have lost their loved ones to violence or had a family member really offend them and “Forgive them, that is what God would want you to do” comes to mind easily. Until one day, I found myself on the other side of the equation.
An extended relative did something that hurt my parents, and I was so upset, I could feel the anger like a physical lump in my chest and throat. The only other thing that upsets me more than watching a loved one hurting and being taken advantage of, is being a situation where I am helpless and unable to do anything about it. It is frustrating. During that period, all the scriptures I quoted to people and the words I used to encourage others, flew out of mind and, for a few weeks, I was stuck in a place of anger and hurt.
It took me a few weeks to realize, that it is easy to say forgive, but putting it into practice, is not easy. I did get to a point, where I decided that I need to forgive the relative in question, and I started by asking a question.
Why Should I Forgive?
I came across several answers to this question and each one led back to the same place. I need to forgive, for myself. Forgiveness helps me more than it helps the other person. Let’s explore:
- Be Forgiven: I need to forgive, so that the ultimate giver of mercy, may dispense mercy to me. This is found in Matthew 6:14-15 The one thing that is certain, in my race with God, is that I am not perfect. Multiple times a day, I am definitely in need of mercy and forgiveness. For me to receive forgiveness, I definitely need to forgive too – genuinely, not just on the surface.
- Commandment: It is an express commandment from God. See Luke 17:3-4.If I am to be an obedient daughter of the most high God, no matter how often someone offends me and comes back to ask for forgiveness, I need to forgive. Well, what happens if the person does not ask for forgiveness, what am I supposed to do? Ephesians 4:32 – forgive anyway. I did not ask for forgiveness, when God sent his only begotten to sacrifice his life, so that I may have salvation. He forgave and saved before I asked for it. In the same way, as his daughter, a daughter who loves her father and is striving to be like him, I need to forgive those who offend me, before they ask.
- Healthy for me: From experience, being bitter and harboring anger against someone else, takes up a lot of mental space and stress. It takes up time, is distracting and literally unhealthy. Holding up negative emotions raises the blood pressure past safe levels and it gives me migraines and headaches. Even the bible addresses this in Ephesians 4:31.
- Denies power to other party: Some people offend and aggravate, because they would like to drag you down to where they are. Sometimes, not on purpose, but they get off on the negative reaction from you. This is because you are operating on their emotional wavelength and on their own terms. As a child of God, I am not supposed to be led by someone else, or have my actions be dictated by someone else. I cannot help but wonder – what would have happened if Jesus spent most of his time on those who offended him, instead of the work he was called to do?
When all’s said and done, forgiveness is not an easy feat, especially when the hurt is deeply rooted. However, it is worth doing, it is worth working on. You will need a prayer partner, constant digging into God’s word (bible) and someone or a group of people you can talk to and talk with. May God help us , even as we journey on in forgiveness.
Chizoba is a blogger, author and speaker, and most importantly a daughter of the Most High God, who enjoys writing and talking to people about God and his wonders. You can find her work at www.chizobamorah.com or follow her on her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/wordsthatinspire17