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How difficult is it to say ‘I forgive you’?

For a while I believed one of the most difficult things God has asked us to do is ‘to forgive and forget.’

Forgiveness sounded like the easiest part of this request, but to forgetting was more difficult! I would refer to things people did to me as far back as five or even 10 years and still believe that I have forgiven the individual involved.

Sometimes I would tell myself and the person involved that I have forgiven them only to start planing a revenge strategy in my head. [I am sure this happens to most of us]

That kept happening till the day I had a discussion with a friend who told me that if truly I respect the commandments ‘Love God’ and ‘Love your neighbour’ that ‘forgiving’ and ‘forgetting’ would not be a problem.

“All it requires is love Yinka,” she said. That statement stuck with me. She emphasised on the importance of communication when on a journey to forgiveness.

From that day on, I tried her strategy to forgiveness, which works well for me.

This quote by Alexander Pope also explains forgiveness “To err is human, to forgive divine.” Everyone sins but God forgives us when then do we find it difficult to forgive?

Discussing with friends yesterday, some stated that forgiveness is not an easy task, and that depending on the degree of hurt, it takes time to forgive.

But really should forgiveness take time?

No direct answer to this because we are wired differently, which means we would most likely take different routes to forgiveness. But remember we sin, take it to God in prayer, and he forgives us immediately. So why should we hold a grudge for months?

When asked if it was possible to forget, they all argued that it was impossible to forget. But is it really impossible to forget?

I think the word ‘forgetting’ is misunderstood. Forgetting does not necessarily mean ‘not remembering’, in this context it means not judging based on past events, it means not making reference to past events, it means loving the offender without limitations.

Imagine, we all are sinners, but we go back to God in prayer, he doesn’t judge us based on our past, he never reminds us of the bad things we might have done, but he assures us of our future.

Bible verses that will help you on your journey to forgiving and forgetting.

1. When you forgive, learn to forget.

Isaiah 43:25

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

2. Once we forgive, we are also forgiven

Matthew 6:14

“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

3. Jesus forgave his persecutors

Isaiah 53:5

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

4. He forgave us.

Acts 10:42-43

“He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

5. Once you forgive, you find redemption.

Ephesians 1:7-10

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment — to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

With this thoughts of mine shared, I hope you find a strategy to forgiveness that works for you.

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About Osei Owusu Fenteng

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