A WALK FROM THE PAST | Why Forgive?

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Many times we experience a very high degree of unfairness from the people we trusted, we get betrayed, rejected and shamed by the very people we committed our hearts to. We also experience unfairness from strangers, some of us weren’t just robbed on the street, we were beaten up and thrown into the gutter! How about ladies who were sexually abused as children by their uncles, elder brothers, fathers, teachers and even clerics? Some grew up with bitterness, extending it to people who wronged them and people who were innocent. What about that lady who went to visit a trusted male friend and she got raped, not just raped but framed up to the point she couldn’t defend herself? What about friends who betrayed friends? What about people who came into your life but only came to dig your gold and run from you?
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Yes, we encounter these things that left us very bitter! We meet people who hit us at the slightest argument, people who blackmailed us, painted our images black in the public and made us laughing stocks! It hurts more when it come from the people you had trusted and helped but even more when it happens and it seems you are powerless to seek justice. Sometimes, the only thing that comes to our mind is to revenge! I remember how bitter I felt when I was beaten up by masked people, I remember how I felt when I was robbed, I remember how I felt when people I trusted started painting a wrong image of me publicly, I remember how I almost fought back when I got hit in the eyes in a public bus by the conductor. At first, the usual thing was to think of how to revenge but on a second thought, there is always this voice telling me “it is better to forgive and move on.” Sometimes it is the hardest thing to do but I have realized it brings in a kind of peace. Healing starts from there!
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One thing is certain, there is nothing anybody can do to you to be able to stop God from taking you where He wants to take you. The lecturer in school may frustrate you and you don’t even have power to seek justice! You may have been abused so much but you couldn’t do anything! Maybe you have been finding it very difficult to let go of those memories, the reason is because you are still holding on to it and as long as you keep holding on to it, you remain the victim always. The memories will always come in a very bitter way because you don’t want to lose grip on it. Forgive that person who disappointed you, you cannot go into the future carrying the burdens of the past. Those burdens are too heavy to allow you walk into the future.
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When Jesus resurrected, He never talked about Judas, He never talked about Peter’s denial, He never started recounting all that happened in the past, He was forging ahead as a victor and not a victim. The most important thing was that He is alive! Joseph never held on to the past, Joseph forgave his brothers who betrayed him even before they realized it! Where God is taking you to is greater than where you have been and holding on to the past may seem more convenient but it is the worst thing to do. I admit, it is not easy to let go off the pains, it is not easy to forget the extreme wickedness meted out on you but that is the best thing to do if you must move forward. Had Joseph held on to the past, he would be busy plotting revenge than celebrating enthronement! In fact, the wrongs he experienced were part of the process to sit on the throne! When you reconsider it again, you’ll always see how they thought they were killing you but never knew you’d find another path of growth from there! It is like burying a seed! A buried seed isn’t hopeless, it will sprout and grow up again in a glorious way.
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Forgive them, they are human! Move on. Yes, your boyfriend or girlfriend might have betrayed you. You might have been used and dumped, they might have given you so much promises but didn’t make any attempt to fulfil them, forgive them. I remember how I ran into a Church, knelt at the other and started asking God in tears to help me kill a man who abused me in a manner I wouldn’t want to talk about, that was many years ago as a minor. But I know how much peace I felt when I moved on and all of those experiences have in one way or another mould me into a better person who can help protect others.
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Your healing from the trauma of the past starts from forgiving those who have wronged you in the past. There is no point holding on to it, it cannot rewrite history, it cannot make wrongs right! All you have to do is move on. Yes, people might have meted out very despicable wickedness to you but will revenge and hatred make it right? Vengeance may promise you a good feeling of satisfaction but at the end you realize it was never worth it. When you revenge, you are taken up the exact character of the person who wronged you, you aren’t any different from him. It may seen as cowardice to forgive but truth is, it takes more strength to forgive than to revenge.
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Also remember, that no matter how light your own wrongs to others have been, they might have felt as bad as you feel right now! Maybe it was just a little lie, a little betrayal and a little neglect but to them it was huge! A poor man may feel the same was a rich man who lost 10 million dollars feels just for losing a hundred dollar and so the little wrong you did to another may be as huge as the big stuffs people did to you. Nobody is actually without mistakes and when you understand this it will help you move on more quickly. Maybe, you have been so careful not to wrong people but Jesus obviously paid the price for the sins you were born into without even having you ask for mercy. You are only doing the right thing to forgive people and move on. Forgiving people doesn’t mean giving them opportunity to hurt you again, you can move on as much as you have forgiven them. You must not reconcile that abusive relationship because you have forgiven them, forgiveness doesn’t deny you have been treated unfairly, it does good irrespective of how it’s been treated but also puts up self protection to prevent other harm from coming. Don’t treat people according to what they deserve, treat them with respect to who you are! You are better!
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Even psychologists have discovered forgiveness helps you stay emotionally healthy. Even the Bible says in Proverbs 17:22 that bitterness dries up the bones and un-forgiveness only leaves the heart very bitter. Forgiveness also help you see the worth of others beyond the wrong things they had done. If the Church didn’t forgive Paul, I am not sure we wouldn’t be knowing having half of the New Testament Bible today! Joseph was able to see the worth of his brothers because he forgave them. Forgiveness helps us see the good in others despite the bad they had put on display. Seeing the good in others automatically makes you a better person. With forgiveness, you can teach others how to be better. Of all moral virtues there is, forgiveness happens to be the most heroic. When Jesus prayed for forgiveness to those who nailed Him to the cross, it was the biggest display of moral virtue!
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Now, you don’t have to continue blaming others for your unhappiness and continue being the victim. They may have contributed to it but only you can come out of it, you have to take the responsibility for yourself and stop holding on to the past. The past is past, live in the future! With forgiveness you can take your future! Maybe, it is actually yourself that you are finding it difficult to forgive, you know how Judas ended right? He couldn’t forgive himself and he died a miserable death. Please, you need to live! No matter what it is you got yourself into, it is okay since we all make mistakes, we all make wrong choices at one point or another. Why not stop blaming yourself and realize you can do better? Why not take a walk out of your past and never come back to it? The future is more beautiful than the past! Just take that walk now!
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Blessings.
I am George O.N
The Man-In-God
#GracefulGeorge

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