The Joy of Forgiving

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

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When memories haunt you and pain seems fresh, forgiveness is surreal. When offended, we want to get even. When assaulted, we want to retaliate. We want to set things straight: we are not going to succumb to anyone without getting a fight for our rights, especially when we end up getting hurt.

the-joy-of-forgiving

People think that refusing to give forgiveness to the offending person is a form of retaliation. They think that it is the same as getting even. The unforgiving always carry the burden of hatred and hopes that in one way or another, vengeance will befall the hands of his perpetrator. Day in and day out, his desire is to get even. He never realize that carrying the weight of unforgiveness is like carrying a dead weight. Imagine carrying a corpse in your back wherever you go! And a corpse is heavier than living person!

Unforgiveness hurts no one than the person who keeps it for himself. On the contrary, releasing forgiveness sets a person free. You do not deserve to carry the weight of pain and haunting memories. Let go of the past. Remember that you are only hurting yourself with your unforgiveness. And while it is true that the memories will always pay you a visit, keep in mind what Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”

Embrace joy today and release forgiveness.

Forgiven

Do you ever know how much the Lord has forgiven you?

5

Day 5: God says you are…

FORGIVEN

A blogger friend was asked whether she has tried forgiving someone who caused her so much pain in the past and how was it. Her response is like one of those in the beauty pageants:

“Excruciating pain. Pero sobrang liberating at empowering. Sobrang luwag sa pakiramdam at sa puso. Mind-blowing din kasi na-realize kong “eto pala ang tunay na kahulugan ng love–you still choose the person (and accept the reality of the situation) kahit na anupaman ang nangyari.”

On one occasion or another, we will find ourselves in a situation where people will insult, offend and take advantage of us either physically or emotionally. Some are mean and intentional in their offensive acts; some are just confused or naive that they are being offensive. Whatever the intention, the Bible tells us to forgive.

Is it really easy to forgive? I tell you, NO. I was once bullied, shaming me that I don’t have anything to prove, I can never get anywhere. I rehearsed that incident again and again on my mind until it became a motivation that someday I’ll prove that person wrong. That I can do well with my studies, that I can achieve something I can be proud of. Jesus took a lot of work on my heart, pruning all the rough edges that need to be smoothened out. It took time until I finally forgave the person.

It is not easy to forgive but we are instructed to. Jesus took a lot of pain and suffering on the cross to redeem us from our sins and forgive us. His death gave us forgiveness, so no matter how hard we try to justify our desire not to forgive those who trespass against us, we will always go back to the premise that we, ourselves have been forgiven by the Lord.

Do you ever know how much the Lord has forgiven you? It is as if you have never sinned. He made our scarlet-red sins and washed it as white as snow. That’s how the Lord forgives – He remembers our sins no more.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12

 

Standing from a Distance

“No longer do I see myself as condemned but accepted. I am a new creation.”

People know me as the tax collector who beats his chest because I don’t see myself fit to even come before the holiness of the Lord. Yes, I am that tax collector who is helpless, unworthy, a sinner. My kindest acts can never be compared to that guy – people call him a Pharisee – standing proud in the middle of this synagogue, voicing out his prayers to God.

I realized the depravity of my acts. I am drenched in tears, guilt and regrets. There is no more place for me in the society, and no matter how I try to fit myself, I am still labeled as the betrayer, the man who robs his own people.

As he utters his prayer, the sins I have committed in the past dawned on me like arrows piercing my heart. I realized the depravity of my acts. I am drenched in tears, guilt and regrets. There is no more place for me in the society, and no matter how I try to fit myself, I am still labeled as the betrayer, the man who robs his own people. Perhaps I should continue living as such. What do I have to lose by the way? I am on the edge of life. I have lost my integrity, a disgrace to my parents, an object of ridicule in the community. I am lost.

Source: http://www.agnusday.org/comics/232/luke-18-09-14-2004
Source: http://www.agnusday.org/comics/232/luke-18-09-14-2004

But there is an urge in me to come to the presence of God. My grandma has told me stories of His greatness and how He heals the brokenhearted. Her stories of how God parted the sea always amazed me in my formative years. God is also compassionate and loving says my grandma. I really have no regard to God but if He has rescued His people in the past, perhaps He can rescue me. I am sick of this life.

While I am drawing near, I find myself drowned in the middle of scrutiny. People see me not as someone in need of mercy, but in need of judgment. So I just stood from a distance.

Early this morning I went to this place. This is where people meet to discuss ideas, but sometimes they just debate over matters I really don’t care about. While I am drawing near, I find myself drowned in the middle of scrutiny. People see me not as someone in need of mercy, but in need of judgment. So I just stood from a distance. I realized I have no place near the righteousness of the people inside this place.

I tried to focus on what brought me here – my desperate need for grace – not from the people, but from God. The more I unload my guilt upon Him, the more I see my destitute condition. Tears fell from my eyes. My heart sank. The more I draw into the holiness of the Lord, the more I see how filthy my life has been.

As I stood from a distance, a Pharisee took notice of me, and uttered his prayer, making sure that I can hear it clearly: “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!”

Source: http://christianitymalaysia.com/wp/pharisee-tax-collector-glad-tidings/
Source: http://christianitymalaysia.com/wp/pharisee-tax-collector-glad-tidings/

His words pierced my ears. There is no better response for me but to beat my chest and admit my sinfulness and hopelessness. “Have mercy on me Lord, for I am a sinner”. Indeed all I need is mercy. I feel like I am a pawn in the hands of the Almighty God. I cried bitterly, yet silently.

Yet deep within me I know there is release. After I have confessed all my sins, I felt as if Someone embraced me from behind. I felt Someone has whispered “I have forgiven you.

And while I am still basking in the euphoria of that divine embrace, no longer have I felt the pain of the past. No longer do I see myself as condemned but accepted. I am a new creation.

You may now go in peace.” Never have I felt so free! Never have I felt so alive! The grace that I was seeking for suddenly dawned at me and it overwhelms me!

And while I am still basking in the euphoria of that divine embrace, no longer have I felt the pain of the past. No longer do I see myself as condemned but accepted. I am a new creation.

In that particular moment, though I’m still standing at a distance from self-righteous men, I know in my spirit I am standing in the presence of a truly righteous Father – sans fear, sans condemnation, sans guilt.