Forgiveness is God's commandment and God’s holy commandment on forgiveness is simply this: If we want Him to forgive us of our sins, then we must forgive those who offends us irrespective of whether or not they are repentant or unrepentant towards us. Forgiveness as a commandment from God is something that we must obey to evidence that we are walking in newness of life. Although forgiving a person who has offended you might not necessarily lead to the perfect restoration of the relationship that you use to have with the person, you are still mandated by God to forgive irrespective of the situation or surrounding circumstances.
Forgiveness can only lead to the rebuilding and restoration of a damaged relationship if the person who has offended in the relationship is truly repentant and committed to changing his or her ways and not simply carry on as usual with his or her offensive ways without any care whatsoever of the impact his or her action is having on the other party to the relationship.
Even in our relationship with God, we simply cannot expect our relationship with Him to continually work if all we are interested in, is to take evil advantage of His mercy, grace and forgiveness by wilfully sinning against Him under the poor excuse that He is after all a gracious God and He will always forgive us. The fact that we are assured of God's forgiveness is not a licence for us to continue to wilfully sin against Him (Romans 6:1-18). If indeed we value our relationship with God, then we will always strive to abstain from sins and not wilfully sin against Him simply because we know that He is in fact a forgiving and merciful God.
Just as we need to genuinely repent and strive to remain repented in order for us to receive God’s forgiveness and sustain our peaceful relationship with God, so it is that in our human relationships, we indeed need to truly apologise when we hurt others and strive to abstain from doing the exact same things that are likely to cause them hurt and pain.
It is highly unlikely for a relationship to work when the only thing a party to the relationship is interested in doing is to consistently delve hurtful blows on the other party! In the absence of true remorse from the one you have forgiven and a genuine commitment by him or her to willingly change and amend his or her ways, then it is highly unlikely that your forgiveness towards the person will lead to the rebuilding of your damaged relationship and the restoration it. It is therefore important that we bear this in mind in fulfilling our obligation to forgive so as to avoid becoming disappointed and ending up back in the dark ocean of begrudging simply because our acts of forgiveness has not yielded the restoration of the damaged relationship in line with our expectations that it would.
Fulfilling your obligation to forgive those who has offended you is an act of obedience towards God and it is not something that you must only do where there is a chance of restoration of your relationship with the person who has offended you. Whether or not there is a chance or room for restoration, you must as a matter of obedience towards God still forgive those that offends you no matter what they have said or done! When we forgive those who offends us, we not only please God, but it is only through forgiveness that we will no longer be enslaved to the bitter anger associated with the offence caused by the offender. When we obey God and forgive those who offends us whether or not they repent, we please God and we also immediately experience freedom from the pain, anguish and the bitterness anger caused by the offence of the offender.
God's commandment to us that we must forgive those who has offended us irrespective of the situation or circumstance, is in actual fact all for our own good. Forgiveness brings healing from the pain and anguish that we suffer due to the offensive actions of others against us. Without forgiveness, the wound of bitterness will only worsen and in bitterness, the devil will of course have all the opportunity that he needs to thrive and bury the heart and mind deeper in hatred. Bitter hatred opens the doorway wide to sinning against God, and the wages of sin of course remains death (Romans 6:23).
God indeed has our best interest at heart by Him mandating us to forgive without reservations. Forgiveness is a divine act of love, and love is God (1 John 4:8). God forgives us not because we deserve it, but because He made us as the underserving to become deserving of His forgiveness by His sacrificial act of love towards us through the Person of Christ (John 3:16).
To err is human and to forgive someone as a matter of love and not simply because they have done anything to deserve it, is indeed divine. When we forgive those who offends us unreservedly in obedience towards God, we are by so doing expressing His righteous divine attributes of love for others, and at the same time, evidencing our gratitude for His own underserving love for us. Forgiveness as a divine act of love is also an act of righteous goodness. We cannot of course conquer evil with evil or hatred with hatred (Romans 12:17-21). Our only means of defeating evil is with goodness and we can only overcome hatred with love.
Ordinarily speaking, I must at this point admit that it can indeed be extremely hard to forgive someone who has offended you especially in circumstances whereby the person is not only unapologetic and non-remorseful, but worse of all, completely bent on shifting the blame instead of taking the blame and apologise for their wrong. But, whilst as flesh we might have countless reasons for not forgiving others, as true children of God, we must not succumb to the malice centric ways of our flesh. Forgiveness is an impossible thing for the flesh to do because the flesh is by nature egocentric, war-centric and totally thrives in the atmosphere of hatred and malice. Forgiveness as a divine act is something we can genuinely do through walking in the spirit in our newness of life and not in the flesh.
We can indeed through Christ do all things to the glory of our heavenly Father (Philippians 4:13). And for the glory of our heavenly Father, we must always forgive others as He has commanded us. When we forgive others, we are by so doing also expressing our love and appreciations for God for Him taking the blame for our sins by allowing the sinless Christ to die for us as the sinful, so that we can through Christ become deserving of His mercy and forgiveness.
God qualified us to receive His forgiveness, not because of what we did to deserve it, but because of what He did for us through Christ to have His forgiveness. We are as sinners only able to have God's forgiveness because of who He is and because of what He did for us through Christ as LOVE itself! And we can only evidence our newness of life in Christ by forgiving those who offends us, not because the person who has offended us deserves it, but because of who we are in Christ: The truly born again offspring of God in Christ Jesus!
No matter the pain or anguish someone might have caused you by their ways and action, today; put your flesh ego, bitterness and anguish aside and forgive to the glory of our God and for the goodness of your own soul. Obey God and forgive so that you can remain forgiven by God of your own sins. Free yourself from your pain today! Forgive the offender in your heart, forget the person's offence in your mind and surrender all to God so that you can become completely healed from the bitter pain and anguish the offender might have caused you in any way or form!
Forgive and forget today!
"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ~Matthew 6:14-15
Pastor Olabisi was a mother, Senior Pastor, Evangelist, Prophet,Teacher, Psalmist, Author, Writer, Publisher and a Housing Practitioner.
She set up Encouraged by God as a means of encouraging and strengthening the faith of Christians everywhere.
Lived and died in Christ, 06 October 2016, aged 49 years old.