FORGIVENESS

Author: Pr. kalungi Denis February 19, 2021 745 views 5 comments
Fig: A picture representing FORGIVENESS.

 

UNDERSTANDING FORGIVENESS BY PR. DENIS KALUNGI

KIREKA CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP

“ Forgiveness is the key that unlocks doors of resentment and breaks handcuffs of hatred.”

What Is Forgiveness? 

I can define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Though forgiveness can help repair a damaged relationship, it doesn’t obligate you to reconcile with the person who harmed you or release them from legal accountability.

Every time you think of forgiveness, think of the key points one should have in mind and are as follow below:

Forgive Yourself

The first person you probably have to forgive is yourself. More people have a lack of forgiveness toward themselves than toward anybody else. They are unwilling to forgive themselves and to recognize that God says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us" {Psalm 103:12}. If you are a believer, He has already cleansed your conscience from dead works so that you might serve the living God. God cleanses us for service in order to not leave us with the guilt of past sin. That should be dead, buried, and forgotten.

People must forgive all those who need forgiveness. If the first person to forgive is yourself, you need to say, "God, before You, I forgive myself. Whatever I have done, I accept your forgiveness, and I forgive myself." That's a very simple but profound statement because as long as we feel that we are under condemnation, we will never have faith to see miracles.

If our heart does not condemn/judge us," the Bible says, "we have confidence toward God" {1 John 3:21}. We cannot have continuing sin in our lives and expect forgiveness. We have to be free from ongoing conscious sin and rebellion against God. But if we are walking in the light, and walking in forgiveness, then the blood of Jesus Christ is continuously cleansing us from all sins {see 1 John 1:7}.

Are You Blaming God?

The second person we have to "forgive," if we have bitterness, is God Himself. Some people blame God because: 

1, A child died,

2. A husband ran away

3. A wife ran away

4. They have been sick,

5. Because they have not had enough money.

Consciously or unconsciously they think all of these things are God's fault. There is deep-seated resentment, yet you cannot be resentful toward God and experience miracles. You have to rid yourself of any bitterness toward God. You can take some soul-searching today and ask yourself, am I blaming God, for my situation?

Forgive Those Closest to You

The third person you may have to forgive is a member of your family.  You have to get rid of resentment, especially toward those closest to you. The husbands, the wife, the children, and the parents - all must be forgiven when slights/insults and resentments have built up in family situations. Many people say, "Well, I didn't think that counted. I thought that was just a family matter." All lack of forgiveness has to be eliminated, especially toward every family member.

Forgive Anyone Who Hurt You

Finally, there has to be forgiveness for anybody else who has ever done anything against you. It may be that your resentment/anger is justified. The person may have done a very evil, terrible thing to you. You may have every legal and intellectual right to hold a grudge and to hate that person. But if you want to see miracles in your life, it is imperative that you forgive.

Forgiveness Cleanses You

Forgive them to the point where you actually feel cleansed of resentment and bitterness and actually to the point of praying for them. If you do not, the lack of forgiveness will make it impossible for God to forgive you. Every miracle depends 100 percent on your relationship with God the Father. That relationship is built strictly on the strength of His forgiveness of your sin.

Forgiveness is the key. Other sins can be present, and if your heart condemns you for something else, then, of course, you do not have confidence in God. But it is a lack of forgiveness that most often comes between people and God.

Can God change your life?

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Release them, and you will be set free.

Everything I have to say will be nothing more than that one sentence: Release them, and you will be set free. But the very moment we say those words, the mind begins to argue:

1, But you don’t know what he did to me.”

2. They lied about me over and over again.”

3. She intended to destroy my career—and she did.”

4. You can’t imagine the hell I’ve been through.”

5. If you knew what this has done to my family, you would be angry too.”

6. They deserve to suffer like they’ve made me suffer.”

7. I’m going to make them pay.”

8. My daughter was raped. How do I forgive that?”

9. I was sexually abused by a priest. How do I forgive that?”

10. I will never forgive those people. Never!”

I have this remarks” how can you say that I forgive when you do not have something to forgive? Therefore but it can also each time you think of obedience to the law of forgiveness expect to have the above harms. Until you have something to forgive.” There are two parts to that observation and both of them are important for us to think about:

1, Forgiveness is a truly Christian virtue.

2. Consider these words from the lips of our Lord:

Do not judge, and you will not be judged {Mathew 7:1-3}? Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” {Luke 6:37}.

Jesus said it very plainly:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” {Matthew 6:14-15}. The Apostle Paul put forgiveness into a slightly different framework in Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

WHY DO WE HAVE TO FORGIVE?

Because God calls us to forgive,

There are many reasons to forgive others. The main one is that God commands us to forgive. Since God tells us to forgive, we must forgive {Matthew 6:12}

Because Jesus showed us the way

Jesus was falsely accused, arrested, tortured, and then crucified. As he hung on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” {Luke 23:34}. When you are mistreated, remember Jesus’ example. Ask God to help you extend forgiveness as Christ did.

Because we have been forgiven.

Jesus took all our sins upon himself and offered us new lives when he died on the cross and then rose from the dead. When we remember how much God has forgiven us, it should motivate us to forgive others John 19:28-30 it’s done.

Because God forgives us as we forgive others.

Jesus could have given no stronger reason to forgive than when he said God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. {Matthew 6:14-15}

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. {Mark 11:25}

Because it brings healing to your relationships.

It is inevitable that people—including your best friend, your pastor, your spouse, and your neighbor—will say or do things that wound you from time to time. That’s because no one is perfect and everyone is sometimes impolite, selfish, mean, depressed, angry, tempted, or otherwise messed up.

If we don’t forgive others for their words and actions, we grow bitter or resentful, and our relationships suffer. When we forgive, relationships can heal and grow.

Because it strengthens your ministry.

God has called each one of us to do “good works”—to make a difference in the world for him. But when we harbor bitterness in our hearts, we can’t make the difference God intends. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. {Ephesians 2:10}

Because it brings healing to us.

When you forgive, you may think you are giving up your “right” to be angry. What you are really doing is giving up the “right” to be unhappy. In other words, one reason to forgive is that it is just as healing for you as it is for the person you are forgiving. When you do not forgive, bitterness festers within you, growing and spreading like cancer. As the Bible warns:

See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. {Hebrews 12:15}. You may say, “That person doesn’t deserve forgiveness. He would get off too easily.” Or, “I suffered, so now she’s going to suffer.” Although your lack of forgiveness may wound other people, it probably hurts you even more. Not only can it hurt your sense of peace and your walk with God, it can affect your physical health.

Forgiveness helps you break free from self-pity and experience God’s peace. It puts you in a victorious position and removes you from a victim’s position.

we are warned to carry on Forgiveness

Lack of forgiveness blocks access to God,s kingdom and its imperativedeserveIt’smiracle power.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift {Matthew 5:23-24}.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins {Matthew 6:14-15}.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt" {Matthew 18:21-25}.

When Peter "a man who knew from experience the value of forgiveness," wrote his first epistle, he summed it up this way: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” That’s I Peter 4:8.

There is another way to say it, and it comes from the “Love Chapter"I Corinthians 13. While describing the greatest virtue, Paul declared that “love "keeps no record of wrongs” {I Corinthians 13:5}. That little phrase deserves a closer examination. The Message says, “Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. “Because love has a bad memory. It finds a way to forget the sins of others.  Even when Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” {Luke 23:34}.  No one seemed very sorry. Even as he said those words, the crowd: 

1, Laughed,

2. Mocked,

3. Cheered

4. Jeered

Those who passed by hurled insults at him. They taunted/teased him. “If you are the King of Israel, come down from the cross and save yourself.” Let us be clear on this point. When he died, the people who put him to death were quite pleased with themselves. 

If we are going to follow Jesus. 

1, We must say it to people who hurt us deliberately and repeatedly.

2. We must say it to those who intentionally attack us.

3. We must say it to those who casually and thoughtlessly wound us.

4. We must say it to those closest to us, to our husband or wife, to our children, to our parents, to our friends, to our neighbors, to our brothers and sisters, to our fellow Christians.

Release them, and you will be set free.

Actually, it’s written in Colossian 3:5 where Apostle Paul states put to death whatever belongs to earthly nature:

1, Evil desires

2. Impurity

3, Greed because of these the wrath of God, will come to us. And Jesus states it in {Mathew 9:16 and 17}

No one sews a patch of new cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins? If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” {Meaning if you do not let them go even God cannot add on your earthly nature} 

IS FORGIVENESS DIFFICULT? YES BECAUSE WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT 

Let us clear up some misconceptions about forgiveness. These misconceptions matter because sometimes when we say we can’t or won’t forgive, we are talking about something other than biblical forgiveness. Let me list a few things forgiveness does not mean:

1, It does not mean pretending that evil never took place.

2. It does not mean making excuses for other people’s bad behavior.

3. It does not mean justifying evil so that sin somehow becomes less sinful.

4. It does not mean overlooking abuse.

5. It does not mean denying that others tried to hurt you repeatedly.

6. It does not mean letting others walk all over you.

7. It does not mean refusing to press charges when a crime has been committed.

8. It does not mean forgetting the wrong that was done.

9. It does not mean pretending that you were never hurt.

11. It does not mean that you must restore the relationship to what it was before.

12. It does not mean that you must become best friends again.

13. It does not mean there must be a total reconciliation as if nothing ever happened.

14. It does not mean that you must tell the person that you have forgiven them.

15. It does not mean that all negative consequences of sin are canceled.

Let’s say a pastor of a big church commits adultery to a young girl below 18yrs and it’s exposed. He confesses and asks for forgiveness and he is forgiven, still, he will step down, Forgiveness does not cancel all the negative consequences of our foolish choices.

Forgiveness is done in the heart between you and your God

1, It doesn’t deny the pain or change the past, but it does break the cycle of bitterness that binds you to the wounds of yesterday.

2, Forgiveness allows you to let go and move on. And this story illustrates that you can forgive even when other people do not confess.

3. You can forgive without a restoration of the relationship.

4. You can forgive when the other person has done nothing to earn forgiveness because forgiveness is like salvation—it is a gift that is freely given, it cannot be earned.

5. You can forgive and the other person may never even know about it. You can forgive without saying, “I forgive you” because forgiveness is a matter of the heart.

This is probably one of the most difficult teachings of Jesus to incorporate into our lives.

Many of Jesus’ teachings are easy to get behind. Loving your neighbor, being kind to strangers, and feeding the poor are all widely accepted.

However, when it comes to Jesus’ words on forgiveness, many of us balk.

Seventy Times Seven

For example, Peter asked him the most difficult question about forgiveness.

Then Peter approached asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” {Matthew 18:21-22} Jesus challenges us not to put a number to the times we should forgive our family or friends who have hurt us in any way but to always forgive them, no matter what.

This can be difficult teaching to accept, but Jesus said that our eternity depends upon it.

If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions. {Matthew 6:14-14} When Jesus said these things, he also practiced what he preached, forgiving his enemies while hanging on the cross. Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. {Luke 23:34}

Forgiveness takes a great deal of humility to practice effectively and requires us to be vulnerable. The other person may or may not accept our forgiveness and this can be even more difficult to endure.

Yet, the pathway to peace in our soul and daily relationships is through forgiveness. If we truly want to achieve that peace, we must practice forgiveness on a daily basis. It may be difficult, but our soul can only be healed through the balm, cream, or oil of forgiveness.

Three Levels of Forgiveness

First, we rediscover the humanity of the person who hurt us. That simply means that without diminishing their sin, we admit that they are sinners just like we are sinners. 

Second, we surrender our right to get even. This is hard because it is natural to want someone else to pay for all the pain they caused us. But in the end, we must leave all judgment in the hands of a just and merciful God. 

Third, we revise our feelings toward the other person. This means giving up our hatred and letting go of our bitterness. Ultimately, it means taking Jesus seriously when he said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” {Matthew 5:44 NKJV}. You’ll know you have reached total forgiveness when you are able to ask God to bless those who have hurt you so deeply. This is indeed a high standard, so high that without God it is impossible. 

I am allowed to call forgiveness a miracle. Because total forgiveness is nothing less than a miracle of God. And it is the miracle we desperately need.

IS FORGIVENESS OPTIONAL?

1) Forgiveness is not an optional part of the Christian life. It is a necessary part of what it means to be a Christian. If we are going to follow Jesus, we must forgive. We have no other choice. And we must forgive as God has forgiven us—freely, completely, graciously. The miracle we have received is a miracle we pass on to others.

2) We will forgive to the extent we appreciate how much we have been forgiven. The best incentive to forgiveness is to remember how much God has already forgiven you. Think of how many sins he has covered for you. Think of the punishment you deserved that did not happen to you because of God’s grace. Jesus said, “He who has been forgiven little loves little” {Luke 7:47}. Your willingness to forgive is in direct proportion to your remembrance of how much you have been forgiven.

Mark Twain said it this way: “Forgiveness is the fragrance/perfume the violet gives to the heel that has crushed it.” You are never more like Jesus than when you forgive. And you will never be set free until you forgive.

Release them, and you will be set free.”

If you are still laboring under a heavy load of sin, come to Jesus. Run from the cross. Obey washed in the blood of the Lamb. You can be forgiven here and now. If you want to know what total forgiveness is all about, trust Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Fellow believers this is the real experience we have been deeply hurt by the things others have done to us. 

1, People have attacked us

2. Maligned/ slandered us

3. Mistreated us

4. Abused/ assaulted us

5. Abused us marriage wise

6. Ridiculed us

7. Belittled us

8. Publicly humiliated us, physically beaten us, and they have done it deliberately, repeatedly, viciously. In response, we chose to become hard on the inside to protect ourselves from any further pain.

Be soft-hearted and forgive because if you don’t forgive the Holy Spirit will not continuously communicate to you. And we need him.

Confess and thank God

We thank God because great men/women have great testimonies so God enabled it to happen to you because if it was somebody else he would have not managed, glory be to God.

HAVE THIS PRAYER 

Father, go now where my words cannot go—deep into the hearts of those who read these words. Grant them the grace to discover the freedom that comes from being great forgivers. Break the chain of remembered hurts that binds them to the past.

Lord, they want to do it but they lack the courage. Show them what they must do and then give them the courage to do it.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

5 comments

Edrine Okong   -   

March 14, 2021
Amen

Nabwire phiona   -   

March 14, 2021
Amen

pr. kalungi Denis   -   

March 31, 2021
@Edrine okong Glory be to God

pr. kalungi Denis   -   

March 31, 2021
@Nabwire phiona Glory be to God.

Kekibuga Hellen   -   

December 31, 2021
Amen I forgive

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