The power of forgiveness

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Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 1: 9 (NKJV)

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Why we have to forgive?

First factor: When we forgive, we give the people who wronged us a chance to change. We do not form opinions when we forgive and hence our ability to judge what is right pertaining to the same person becomes unbiased if we have already forgiven. This is what we call us ‘follow up effect’.

Second factor: we forgive because we are forgiven not because we have to tolerate evil unreservedly but God showed tolerance upon me when I wronged Him and as an acknowledgement of mercy and token of thankfulness to Him I show mercy to others by forgiving them.

Third factor: Whenever I forgive I give a direct blow to my pride and self, in fact that is why we face forgiveness as a very difficult practice in realty. Finally forgiven people with an attitude of forgiveness live in heaven since they have got their God’s nature. Unforgiving people who are primarily the people who refused forgiveness to others live in hell because they have inherited their father satan’s nature of cruelty.

Hence we have the ability to make heaven or hell even in this earth based on our attitude to forgive people. Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness, hatred if we cannot take vengeance. Vengeance full blown leads to murder as our object is to destroy the object that inflicted pain and hurt upon us.

Reality check in forgiveness:

1. Your degree of unforgiveness is directly proportional to your degree of pride and self-conceit. What is conceit? Thinking ourselves great, when we are not and rather when we are worse. That’s the demonstration of ultimate lie.

2. We cannot avoid people hurting and colliding with us, only when a person is perfectly unselfish and at the same time intentionally filled with compassion can avoid hurting others. Typically it’s a paradox since true love points out mistakes and this process hurts. The cycle is vicious by all means – hurt people hurt others and hurting people hurt themselves. In fact it’s a terrible vicious cycle and there is no end to it unless all the hurting people are cast in hell. But forgiveness can break the cycle and can bring healing and has potential to transform hurting people to loving people.

3. Without patience we cannot practice forgiveness and to acquire patience we need to be hurt unreasonably and until we are filled with Him we cannot do this. He cannot fill us until we forgive but He does it out of mercy and grace since He is forgiving He initiates the cycle of love and forgiveness.

The highest good of practicing forgiveness is to give us a ‘Hurt Proof Life’, which can never Rob the Joy of the Lord from us irrespective of the circumstances.

Prince R Prabhu

Dr. Prince Prabhu works as a faculty member at the Teaching and Research Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University. He is an able Bible teacher, gifted in expositing the Scriptures with an apologetic edge. He also serves as an Elder in King of Glory Sanctuary. Conversant in both English and Tamil, he teaches in the El-Bethel Bible College learning Centres established all over India.