I hated my childhood. So much so that I tried to end my life in my matric year. When that didn’t work, I decided to leave. I wanted to travel so far away from home as I could. And I would have been fine if I never saw them again.
I grew up in a home with so much fighting. To get the peace I wanted, I would get involved with the other parties fighting, leaving them angry at me. But please don’t fret, I preferred it that way, for it was a win-win situation. They don’t talk to me, and I have peace and quiet for a few weeks. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9, KJV).
Now, why am I writing this piece. For yet again, I was drawn into this vicious circle. One would think that I’ve learned from my past mistakes. There are two things in this world that I find is the hardest thing to do: forgiving another and atonement.
Many people these days says, ‘yes, I’ve forgiven that person.’ But have you really? Forgiving another takes effort from you. Jesus, Himself, said that we should forgive one another “...until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22, KJV). However, people hold onto their feelings of offence. They hide it in their bottom drawer, at the back where no one can see. Ready to use for ammunition for a rainy day.
Forgiveness is to stop feeling angry or resentful towards someone for an offence, flaw, or mistake. It can also be used as a request to excuse one’s foibles, ignorance, or impoliteness
It is okay to be angry with someone when you were wronged. Paul said, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”(Ephesians 4:26-29, KJV). When you don’t forgive the devil gets a stronghold over you. It turns into bitterness that festers. It can also cause diseases when bottled up too long.
When you forgive someone, you hand it over to God. Let Him be the judge in the case. For how can you expect Him to forgive you?
Last year I’ve done a cleansing stream course through my church and I had to write down everything from my past. The book they gave me wasn’t big enough. Don’t they realize some people have serious issues?
Well, the Holy Spirit pressed on my heart to phone my parents and to forgive them. It took me over a week of torment to phone them and do as I was told to do. It was as if a large weight was lifted from my shoulders. I was free!
Many people think forgiving someone means that they get away with whatever happened. Not so! You just give it to the One who will know what is best to do with the case. He has seen both sides. He knows ALL!
Now, the hardest thing to do is: to say ‘I am sorry.’ And meaning it. We teach our kids from a young age to apologise to their friends and siblings when fighting and biting over stuff. However, we seem to outgrow this. Pride steps in and people think that they are above atonement.
Atonement means an action of making amends for a wrong or injury. In a religious contexts it means reparation or expiation for sin, and the reconciliation of God and mankind through Jesus Christ. It takes a physical action from you to atone for what has gone wrong.
I find as a parent that it is hard to do so. The other day I was busy cooking and my younger son came from behind and gave me a scare. I lashed out at him and language escaped my lips which I thought was long forgotten. Many would say that he surely deserved it, because I nearly burned myself on the stove. Jesus tells us, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22, KJV).
Later that evening, when I cooled down, I called him closer, gave him a big bear hug, and said I was sorry for the language I used against him. Peace was restored to our family once again.
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remembers that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing” (Matthew 5:23-26, KJV). So, if you have done something to someone, call them NOW! Tell them you are sorry. It is such a simple word to say. Yet, so hard to say, I know. But it you don’t, there will be judgement on you. We are talking eternity…
Jesus told a parable to explain such things in Matthew 18. “And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:34-35, KJV).
Have you forgiven those who tresspassed against you? Have you called the person you wronged? If not, I implore you to do so now. You don’t know what tomorrow might bring…
My prayer today is the words of the Lord’s prayer:
Our Father which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
They will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. In Jesus Mighty name. Amen