“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

Colossians 3:13

When we talk about forgiveness, we are, at the same time, talking about injustice because forgiveness cannot exist without injustice. If there is no offense, there’s no need to forgive.

Heaven’s expectation is that we forgive as God forgives us. In reality, it is offensive to God when we don’t forgive and our refusal to pardon others actually restrains God from acquitting us; “but if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15).

Forgiveness is much like a credit card. God is the creditor and He gives each of us this card in order for us to use to cash in on it. God forgives wickedness and will not stay angry until the sun freezes over because He enjoys showing mercy. “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” is what we should do to our neighbour.

God buries our sins and so as the Lord forgave you we need to bury sins done against us as well. The famous English preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “Forgive and forget. When you bury a mad dog, don’t leave his tail above the ground.”

Jesus is our example, if He has mercifully forgiven our ill-spoken words, corrupt deeds and sinful thoughts that make us worthy of being nailed to the cross, shouldn’t we do the same? When Christ forgives you, He doesn’t remind you of your sins for Him it’s not even something to think about anymore; He said in Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgres- sions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

While we walk on the path of forgiveness, vengeance is in our hands and we look at it for one last time and let it fall to the ground like water being poured out and “good riddance.”

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44 45) then we can be sure that we are with God as a team to realize the miracle of forgiveness and healing.

Those who forgive are left free to experience happiness and self healing and to go on with their lives; they aren’t living with the extremely heavy and unnecessary burden of holding a grudge. Those who don’t forgive are still prisoners confined in their own cells of hatred and bitterness and they don’t even have their own sins forgiven by God. He who refuses to forgive is thereby casting away his own hope of pardon.

If our sinless Lord is willing to forgive us with all our faults, how can we withhold pardon from those who have sinned against us? True Christ like forgiveness buries the hatchet completely.

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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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