Forgiveness is the act of pardoning others in spite of their mistakes and shortcomings. In practice, forgiveness entails letting go our desire and interest to demand punishment or pay-back for a perceived offense. When we forgive, we release our right to punish or revenge. We may have the right to revenge but we choose not to use the right. We reckon the offender free from the consequences of their offense. We forgive the offense and the offender. Many people struggle to forgive because they are focusing on the wrong person. Forgiveness is more about the one who is forgiving, it is not as much about the offender. Forgiveness becomes easier once we clarify the fact that we are offering grace to the underserving and we are willing to do that without undue expectations. In relationships, it is very crucial that we learn to surrender to Jesus our right to hold a judgment against someone.

In Ephesians chapter 4, verse 32, the bible encourages us to be kind, to be tender-hearted and to forgive others as we have been forgiven by God in Christ Jesus. God never asks us to do anything except He has first given us the grace needed to succeed. Obeying the instructions of God is never grievous if we surrender to the grace of God. God’s forgiveness of our sins teaches and empowers us to forgive others. Grace brings responsibility and divine enablement to do the things we are naturally not capable of doing. We can forgive by the grace and the power of God. Stop trying to forgive, just forgive!

The best example of forgiveness is in the work of Jesus Christ. God is the source of all forgiveness and showed that by initialising the whole process of forgiveness leading to redemption through the total work of Christ. God loved us so much that He forgave all our sins because of the sacrifice of Jesus. He gave so much in order to forgive us. He gave so much to forgive us because He loves us so much. How you love determines how you forgive. You cannot separate your capacity to love from your capacity to forgive. If you love your partner, forgive them! Forgiveness is the true test of your love. You cannot love if you cannot forgive. Let’s make this clear. Offenses will always come. It is a normal part of human existence. Some offenses will be deliberate but some will be mistakes. No matter how they come, they all need to be forgiven. We often offend those we love more; we also need to forgive them more.

There is so much goodness in forgiveness – it unlocks and opens unprecedented ways for us to enjoy the goodness of our relationships. Forgiveness brings great joy in relationships. It destroys anger, resentment and hatred. It brings freedom and guiltlessness. An unforgiving spirit is so terrible, it is like cancer eating deeply into the fabric of the human heart. There is nothing to gain by being so implacable. You do yourself real harm. Unforgiving people are accidents waiting to happen. They are unhealthy and sick and they often spread ill feelings around them. Unforgiving people spread negative vibes all around. They make people feel uncomfortable and edgy. Unforgiving people pollute their relationships and make people feel uncomfortable around them.
In a relationship where forgiveness is lacking, unlimited number of vices prevail. Bitterness, malice, hatred, jealousy, envy, resentments, emotional pain, anxiety and are many more are issues that people have to deal with in an unforgiving relationship.

It is important for you to know that you are the main beneficiary of your forgiveness of others. When you forgive you present yourself with the opportunity to have a joyous and rewarding relationship which offers avenues for growth and development of individuals. Where there is forgiveness, there is peace. Do not sacrifice your own joy and peace because of an offense. Most times the offender has moved on while the offended is wallowing in bitterness and anger. Endeavour to live your life to the full by letting go those who have offended you. Forgiveness is not at all times convenient. It is often done with tears and pain. Forgiveness might be the PRICE you have to pay for your own freedom. You lose when you do not let go. You have to make a personal choice of not allowing any offense to keep you away from a life of peace and enthusiasm.

You need to learn to forgive yourself. There are many people who struggle to forgive themselves after they have forgiven every other person. They apologise all day long for everything. People who do not forgive themselves are given to all kinds of negative emotions and agony, they never see anything good in life and are most times victims of stress and depression. You cannot find strength for life if you are holding a grudge against yourself. You are the most important person you need to forgive. You will struggle to live right and above reproach if you fail to forgive yourself. You don’t achieve much by trying to get back at yourself! If you don’t forgive yourself, you will have nothing to give to others. Take responsibility, make corrections but by all means MOVE ON! Be free to enjoy your life and your relationship.

You cannot enjoy all the goodness in your relationship if you do not make up your mind to practice forgiveness. You will need forgiveness to get the best out of the relationships in your life.

BY: Lekan Wellington Adegunwa
+447738738155; lekanadegunwa@hotmail.com; @lekanadegunwa