Not for the faint of heart…
A few years ago, there was an incident where someone was greatly upset that I was attending class quite early. This resulted in him having to leave his current class, which he was supposed to, as the next lesson had begun. After a long time, he reprimanded me while I was waiting in line. As a person who avoids trouble as much as possible, I apologized. However, that did not stop him from slapping me across my face with a deft movement of his hand. My glasses spun away, hit a window and fell to the ground. Someone had to pick it up for me because I couldn’t see it. The assailant had disappeared by then. The Physics teacher asked if I wanted to report it to the principal, but I declined. I said that I had forgiven him and that God would deal with him. But here I was, crying at my desk, tears blinding my vision of the chalkboard filled with notes I needed to take down. Two girls arrived at my desk asking if I was okay. I wasn’t. But I just said “Yes” because seeing your friends stare at you as you sob for an hour was awkward.
I knew that God would sort him out. Vengeance is His. That was what the Bible says. I imagined him being struck by lightning or knocked over by a passing vehicle. Something! I had forgiven him, but his consequences were coming…..
I went to use the toilet one day, and there he was… I turned around to leave, but he called out to me. I expected him to cause more trouble. I knew there was going to be a showdown…
“I’m sorry,” he said. “Can you forgive me?”
“I already have,” I replied.
But I knew that I hadn’t. Forgiveness isn’t just choosing not to take revenge, it’s wishing best for the other person.
Is forgiveness necessary?
It is of utmost importance that we understand forgiveness. We have heard that forgiveness is setting someone free and realizing that you were the prisoner or unforgiveness is a poison you drink while expecting the other person to die.
However, researchers say that in a recent study, individuals who have unforgiveness have higher blood pressure and a higher risk of heart disease. Scientists also concluded that those who had forgiven were calmer and more relaxed.
What can we say about this? There is a reason why the Bible says in Colossians 3:13
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
It seems as though the spiritual aspects of life as well as the psychological affects our physical reality.
Behind the scenes
Think about this:
We mostly harbour grudges against someone, especially today in a world that has dehumanized people. We are no longer kinder or compassionate anymore. But no matter how many people have hurt you in the past, you can’t deny that there is at least one person on this planet that you have transgressed against. You had to be in a position where you also needed forgiveness.We all needed grace, we all needed mercy because at the end of the day, we have all sinned against someone because we all aren’t perfect.
The question is:
In the times, that are hard to forgive, do I remember the times when I needed forgiveness?
Now, let’s go back to the guy who slapped me in high school.
The crazy thing is that he was a Christian and went to church. I met him recently at a local store, and we chatted as if nothing ever happened. This is what grace is!
And we can judge all we want, but if we wish for someone to be destroyed instead of praying for their salvation, we lose the right to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.
In Luke 9, the disciples wanted to call down fire from heaven on some people who were hostile to them. What did Jesus do? He rebuked them. Why? Because He had come to save the lost, not to condemn.
So if anyone has done us wrong, God told us to forgive them but ultimately, our goal isn’t for that persons demise, but for their repentance and salvation. We all have received grace which has given us access to the very throne of God. Why can’t we give grace to others?
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
There is a certain punishment for unforgiveness. Most people are consumed by bitterness and hatred. Their entire life is revolving around a singular point in time and space. They never move on from there, even though the hands of time are constantly ticking. Lost in the past, the Unforgivers waste their present hours clutching to the hurt of memories they refuse to let go.
Here’s something crazy for you…
Scientists have said that:
- Anxiety and stress damage the heart
- Worry damages the stomach
- Anger damages the liver
- Grief damages the lungs
But what does my Bible say?
- 1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
That’s how you protect your heart
- Matthew 6:25
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes?
This is how you protect your stomach.
- Ephesians 4:26
“In your anger, do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.
That’s how you protect your liver.
- Phillipians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
That’s how you protect your lungs.
If you want to protect your vital organs, live according to what the Bible says…