Sunday, October 8, 2006

Forgiveness

*Disclaimer: The following blog entry expresses my personal views of the Christian faith. There is no intention to challenge anyone's religion or faith. Please do not read it if you are troubled by such discussions or ideas.



Matthew 6: 14 - 15


For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


I have just finished Annie's blog on 'The Power of Forgiveness'. It strikes a raw nerve in me.

For me, the verse above represent one of the core beliefs in the Christian faith. I remember my dad(who's not a Christian) once said, 'You Christians think your God is stupid. You sin, ask for forgiveness, and He forgives.' He has a good point. Some Christians do have the misguided view that they can do what they want and the instant before they die, they just have to ask for forgiveness. You don't know when and where Death will claim you. Don't mock God. He is no man's fool.

As I venture deeper and deeper into the Christian faith, I realize it's not easy living to the ideals set out in the God's Word. Forgiveness which I once assumed to be so simple is actually one of the hardest things to do. Partially, it is due to our human nature which demands payment for the hurt and injustice we have received. Actually, if you do think about it, revenge and hatred only breeds more of the same. It is an insatiable vacuum that craves for more until the point when someone in the cycle decides to stop and break it by the act of forgiveness - to turn away from seeking retribution.

It's hard to forgive. Personally, I think it is easier to forgive a stranger than someone who is very close to you and have betrayed your trust. Because if you choose to forgive that person, you are somehow giving that person the opportunity to hurt you again. There is a great measure of risk involved. Forgiveness does not equal forgetting. That is a foolish myth. True forgiveness comes when we can recall the act of wrong without the bad feelings and the hurt associated with it.

Why should we forgive? I believe it is more for our personal good than for the other person. It is so self righteous to presume you are doing the other person a big favour by forgiving them. If you are thick skinned enough to say to the person, 'I forgive you' and he is unaware of it, chances are you'll get it all thrown back in your face; with remarks such as 'Why should you forgive me?', 'Did I do something wrong to you?' or 'Wah, who are you to forgive me? I should be the one who forgives you'. When we choose to forgive, we set ourselves free of the chains of our bitterness, anger and pain. Forgiveness is not ignorance. After all, we are now pretty conscious of what the other person is capable of doing to us. Our memory is pretty good when it comes to these things. Trust and confidence in human character take ages to rebuild once we have been betrayed.

To my shame, there are a number of people I cannot forgive. My heart seems to have grown cold to the idea of reconciliation. Heh, I've written a rather preachy blog entry today. Well, I still hope and pray I can overcome this wall in my faith.

Christians are not perfect and the church is filled with imperfect people who are fully capable of hurting each other. The only difference is that they realize how pathetic their spiritual condition is and they need God to 'succeed' or win in this walk of faith we call life.

4 comments:

Annie said...

I think you wrote a wonderful entry there Jonzz. It is a very important point of view. I am not of any religion; but I do believe in a God.. and I've the Bible and I do believe it is not my place to judge or pass judgement.

But like you, I have a VERY difficult time forgiving.. especially if the person sees they've done nothing wrong. It eats away at your core. It's a burden I carry; but I feel I've been betrayed by somebody I trusted and I won't forgive them.

I feel in due time, I will.. but as time heals the heart, I have forgiven the unforgivable... some ex-BFs.. but it took years for me to "let it go". People don't realize the burden they put on others when they do unspeakable acts... it's not easy to forgive.

Yet, when you finally do forgive. WOW.. what a feeling.. it's like you were given this "Escape" button/hatch and you're FREE from the burden.

Las montañas said...

Its not easy, but we have to.

poohbearee said...

Jonzz, I agree with you totally.

There isn't really someone I need to forgive at this moment. Maybe I am too indifference most of the time.

DuZhai said...

Hey bro. I won't know what to say 'coz I wuda said to you right in front of you LOL, just a msg to say God be with you. Cheers.