Forgiveness is giving away your right to redress, yes let that sink in. It is the epitome of Christ’s ministry on earth, He came and was offended by those He gave His life for, yet He still chose to say “forgive them because they do not know what they were doing”. And I think we can agree that most of us do not know what we are doing, most of the time.
Genesis 50 verse 15 says: When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.” This is the basis for some people not being able to experience love. Forgiveness is a gift (FORE-GIVE that which is given before). The question is before what?
Before you feel like giving it?
Before they apologise?
Before they earn your forgiveness?
A gift begged for is no longer a gift but an obligation.
If I gave you a fruit you have to first receive it and eat it to enjoy the benefits of the fruit. Most people go as far as receiving the gift of forgiveness but they never really reap the benefits of the gift. Like Joseph’s brothers, you are always watching over your back wondering when he/she will repay you.
Sweet-One taught me how to graciously receive forgiveness and I realised there is a very close link between how one receives forgiveness and how they forgive. He does not dwell on issues for too long when he does something that hurts me he asks for forgiveness and he moves on. Something I had to learn because I struggled with moving on, you can check out an example of this in the post “protect your intimacy”.
The reason why Jesus says forgive as you are also forgiven is because your ability to forgive finds it’s premise on the reality that you are not perfect and you will also need the same favour. People who struggle with forgiveness may have issues with receiving forgiving themselves and receiving it from God and themselves. It is hard to give to others what you can’t give yourself.
Joseph’s brothers did not forgive themselves for what they had done to their brother and therefore did not believe he had. To fully understand the cost of this gift one has to give it. So go on and give it to yourself first, accept it from God and then give it to others.
It is a gift worth giving because both you and recipient benefit from this gift.
with love MsDzo