“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”
In many Hollywood and Nollywood movies, forgiveness is usually portrayed as something people have to earn. If they aren’t sorry enough, or haven’t suffered enough for their misdeeds, they do not deserve forgiveness, according to the movies. But when we look at the word of God, we understand the true meaning of forgiveness and what our standard should be for responding to the people who hurt us.
We should forgive as ‘God for Christ’s sake forgave us.’ It wasn’t because we deserved it. What we deserved was eternal punishment for our sins. But God took the initiative and sent Jesus to die for our sins. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He is our standard when it comes to forgiveness. 1 John 3:16 says that the same way Christ laid down his life for us, we should ‘lay down our lives for the brethren.’
There is nothing you cannot forgive as a Christian. Being unforgiving is not part of your nature. The nature of the man in Christ is Christ-like. You are filled with the Holy Spirit; the spirit of love, forgiveness and patience. That is your nature. You may need to let go of some toxic relationships. But you should not hold grudges against anyone.
Apart from the fact that this is expected of you, living a life of forgiveness brings you peace. Someone once mentioned that choosing to forgive someone is like going to open prison gates only to realize that you were the prisoner in the first place. Live free, forgive.