Forgiveness: The Road to Divinity
A pang in your heart when she walks by you.
The guilt you feel when they pass by you without a said hello — the crushing sadness of your weeping heart from the realization that your friendship is over forever. Then you ask yourself, is it worth it? Can your soul remain in the bondage of an unforgiving spirit? A dark hole that keeps circling you, swallowing you up, leaving you breathless and gasping for air. No, you say. It is time to set yourself free. So you finally reach out, open up your heart and let the resentment go. And all of a sudden you are free. The deadweight upon your spirit lifted, and the darkness has become light again. You are happy, your soul is at peace, and you can finally look to the heavens with a smile for you know that God is smiling down upon you again.
An unforgiving spirit is like a dead weight pulling you down, dragging you through the dirt road. It muddies you up and ruins you. It blinds you with rage and anger. If you let it, it will continue to hang onto you, sucking up the very essence of you until you are nothing but a ghost of sadness and regret. But if you can find the strength to shake it off, you will be free again to remove that garment of bitterness and resentment. You will rise from your ashes, and just like that, you are walking on sunshine.
Forgiveness is a release from our pain. Sometimes it may seem almost impossible to offer. The hurt may hurt just too much. The offense may only be unforgivable. But it would be best if you did well, and not let that wound fester. When you offer forgiveness, you do not just release an offender; you also free yourself from bitterness and pain, and just like that, you are closer to divinity and purity of heart.
“To err is human, to forgive is divine. All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and they act in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive.”
These were the famous words of Alexander Pope and how wonderfully accurate they are.
Forgiveness is the glue that holds our relationships together, not just with our fellow brothers and sisters but also with God. For it is by faith that we believe God forgives all our sins. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us.” Words we repeat every day while we pray. If we refuse to forgive those who hurt us, how then can God forgive us?
To open up ourselves to forgiveness, we must be ready to let go of all bitter feelings towards the one who hurt us. For bitterness is like cancer, a perpetual growth, spreading through your body, killing every cell, and wreaking havoc in your whole system. It brings with it misery, suffering, depression, and bears the fruits of suicide or even murder. Just like cancer, nothing good ever comes out of bitterness. So treat it like cancer. Cut it off and throw it into the bottomless pit where it belongs. For your body is the Holy Spirit’s temple, and there is no room for bitterness in it.
“But you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these; rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Colossians 3:8
However, as simple as this may sound, it is also one of the hardest things to do in this life. So how do we go about achieving this?
MAKE A LIST
Yes, pick up your pen or your phone or pad and write down the names of everyone who has hurt you. You can even arrange the names in order of the severity of the hurt. Now, by the side of each title, please write what you expect them to do.
WRITE DOWN YOUR FEELINGS
Write down how you felt when they didn’t live up to your expectations. Please write down your disappointments, the pain they caused you, and how much that hurt. Do not mince words, write them down exactly as you feel it
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
Write down if you think the offender will ever meet up to your expectations of them. Make sure you are honest with yourself and very realistic while writing these.
ASK FOR HELP
Ask God to help you forgive all these people who have hurt you. It doesn’t matter whether they have asked your forgiveness or not. It doesn’t matter that they are strangers, family, or relatives. It doesn’t matter the severity of their offenses. Open up your heart and let the power of the Holy Spirit overwhelm you with forgiving power. Own that power and manifest it. Reach within you and find that pain, that bitterness. Draw it out of you, and with joy and happiness, throw it into the pit where it belongs. Release yourself from the bondage of unforgiving spirit and let the healing bliss of God fill you. Do not be afraid to let go. Just breathe and let God wash away your anger, pain, and resentment. You are free, rejoice, and be glad.
TEAR UP THAT LIST
Now that the forgiving power of God is upon you, look through the list one last time then rip it up. destroy it however you want. you can tear it up then let it fly away with the wind. you can burn it up and spread the ashes. Whatever suits you best. just do it and feel the relief you deserve. Feel yourself being set free and rejoice.
Always remember that overcoming bitterness is like breaking a chain. It is because pain can pass from generation to generation, but who that is set free, is free forever. Hallelujah.
And now that you have forgiven, you can start to heal. You will find that with your new-found freedom, there is no force you will not surmount, there is no pain you can not overcome, and the load in your heart will become lighter. Your path will become more evident, your future more confident, your joy boundless, and your relationship with God is even stronger.
“I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 22 vs. 18,
Forgiveness should, therefore, be boundless and without conditions. Forgive, not for the offender’s sake. Offer forgiveness for the soul’s release. An unforgiving soul is a soul burdened bitterness. For by forgiving, you draw closer to God, become more like God, and regain freedom for your soul. Through forgiveness, you are a step closer to divinity.
In this pandemic era, spiritual leaders must check in with their members. If you do not do this, members may feel unimportant and become bitter. One way to keep in touch with your members is by signing up with church management software like Churchpad.
Churchpad keeps information of all members and makes them easily accessible any time.
With ChurchPad, you can easily communicate with your members via email, texts, and SMS.
By Annabel Ulasi