Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Why Forgiveness is a mark of true Christian Lifestyle

It is easy to ask God for forgiveness, but sometimes very difficult to grant it to others, especially when our world’s result in conflict resolution involves constant lawsuits and incessant demand for legal rights. Some of us who prophesy to be true Christians have fallen into the same dangerous pit, compassion and forgiveness no longer exists in our lives. We prophesy to be Christians, but we’ve totally dropped out the true mark of a Christian Life.

We all appreciate being forgiven, but forgiving others, especially when they have wounded us, feels like a different thing. I know, sometimes it’s not easy to forgive others when they’ve wronged us, but if we love someone the same way Jesus loved us, we will be willing to forgive them. If we’ve experienced God’s grace, we will want to pass it on to others. If God so graciously forgave us, why shouldn’t we who are to bear fruits forgive others when they’ve wronged us!

Forgiving others who have wronged you, whether for a relatively small thing, or for a seriously damaging act against you, can sometimes seem like an insurmountably difficult thing to do, but as Jesus suffered on the cross, he asked God to forgive those who wrongly condemned him to death. Often those who offend us never ask for our forgiveness or admit any wrong-doing. Forgiving these people is perhaps the hardest. But Jesus is our example for forgiving those who don't appear to be sorry or ask to be forgiven.

Mathew 6:14-15If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your father will not forgive your sins.

If we expect to be forgiven by our heavenly father, we need to practice forgiveness by forgiving others. If we refuse to forgive those who’ve wrong us, God will also refuse to forgive us. When we don’t forgive others, we are denying our common ground as sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. His grace is freely given; we should also give it out if we are truly children of light.

Romans 12:17-21do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord. On contrary: if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

You might thing that returning evil for evil will give you a peace of mind, however, the truth is, returning evil for evil hurts you just as it hurts your enemy. As many have said: holding a grudge is like drinking a poison and hoping the other person dies. The truth is, you are the one dying, and the other person might even be celebrating that. As true Christians living in Christ we are to let go of the grudges in our hearts and let the forgiveness and love of Christ take control.

Ephesians 4:32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ in God forgave you

Forgiving others with the love of Christ brings about a change in the lives of those who wrong us, it breaks a cycle of retaliation and leads to mutual reconciliation to both parties in the misunderstanding. It may even make the enemy feel ashamed and change his or her ways. Remember the life of Joseph in the old testament and how he forgave his brothers.

Joseph was rejected, kidnapped, and imprisoned for things he didn’t do. Although his brothers had been unfaithful to him, he graciously forgave them and shared his prosperity with them. Joseph’s life of forgiveness demonstrated how God’s forgiveness showers us with goodness even though we’ve sinned against him. Why then shouldn’t we Christians do the same!

Because God has forgiven and erased all our sins, we as Christian living unto his Holy name should not withhold forgiveness from others. Realizing how completely God has forgiven us should produce a free and generous attitude of forgiveness toward others. When we don’t forgive others, we are setting ourselves outside and above Christ’s law of love.

Forgiveness to others should not be based on the magnitude of the wrong committed against us, but the magnitude of our love to forgive. No offense is too great for God’s complete and unconditional love, therefore, if we truly reflect the image of God, we should also portray this kind of complete and unconditional love when it comes to forgiving others.

When we fail to forgive others, we fail to reach out to God’s forgiveness and love. God’s gracious love toward us should be the motivation to forgive others. It is important for each of us Christians to understand that we will receive God’s forgiveness only when we are willing to forgive others who have wronged us, and it should be an unconditional forgiveness with love. Forgiveness is not cheap. Just as God forgives us without limit or conditions, we should also forgive others without counting how many times they’ve wronged us. If Jesus forgave all those who mocked and crucify him, how much more should we? We are Christians and we are called to reflect the acts of Christ, and one of those acts is the act of forgiving those who wrong us unconditionally with love and grace.

Living as truly Christians, God desires for us to respond to others’ sins by blessing them. Don’t retaliate when people wrong you, rather pay them back with a blessing and love.

Mathew 5:44-45But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

Forgiving others may seem to be a choice, and in one sense it is a choice, but God has been very clear about forgiveness. God is saying that it is in our own best interest to forgive! Not forgiving is a greater wrong. Forgiveness reflects God’s character, which we are supposed to emulate. When we forgive, we reflect the Father’s love.

Let us ask the father to give us a forgiving heart….

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Rumishael Ulomi is a Freelance Christian Consultant, Life Coach, and Motivational Speaker in the areas of Christian Ministry, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Social Sector development residing in Moshi,Tanzania.


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