By Funmi Komolafe
What is certain in life is that we must interact with others. Interaction begins within our nuclear family and later the larger society. The reality of life is that it is not everyone that you show love to, that will reciprocate. Some would, some would not. In other words, some people would certainly offend you.
However, what is our focus here is how you respond to people who offend you.
No matter the degree of love that exist between a couple, at one point or the other, a partner will offend the other.
Simply put, husband will offend his wife, the wife will offend her husband.
Let’s see what our Lord Jesus said about forgiveness. Our authority is found in Matthew 6 vs. 9-13 KJV “ And after this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by they name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever . Amen”.
Having introduced us to the Lord’s prayer, our Lord Jesus sounded a note of caution in verses 14 and 15 “ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
Brethren, the key words for us are found in these words “ forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors”.
Our debt mentioned here means our sins. What is sin? A simple definition is that sin is a violation of the law of God or a moral law.
A man who leaves his office and informs his wife that he is working late but goes to a club house to spend his time with strange women and friends, has not only committed a sin against God by lying, he has also sinned against his spouse.
Sins, are major obstacles to our breakthrough. Sins widen the gap between God and us. Romans 6 vs. 1 “ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Our focus in today’s article is the grace to forgive. Not everyone has the God given grace to forgive yet forgiveness is the fast track to a break through. Note the words of our Lord Jesus “ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”.
Note the emphasis of our Lord Jesus that we must forgive men their trespasses, so that our father in heaven will forgive us too.
Many have caused their homes to be broken because of inability to forgive. Some children have gone to the extent of snuffing life out of their parents because of failure to forgive.
Brethren, if God can forgive those who have aborted babies and given them children, if God forgave an armed robber and made him a preacher, if Jesus can forgive Judas who handed him over to those who killed him, why are you still holding on to that offence that someone has committed against you.
Brethren, no sin is too big to be forgiven. I share a story of a lady who worked in a company. She was due for an official car but her bosses ganged up against her, denied her and gave it to another lady. She felt very bad but decided to forgive them and look unto God.
A few years after, God told her to put in her letter of retirement and he told her what business to embark on . She obeyed. Within a few years, she became an employer of labour. She was in her home when she heard that the lady that was favoured by her bosses was forced to resign within 24 hours.
She left with honour while the lady that men favoured left shamefully.
I also share with you some of the thoughts of Rev. Samson Ajetunmobi, President of The men of Issachar Vision Nigeria in his book Not offended.
He wrote, “ People who stick to their guns when they shouldn’t are insensitive. Shifting grounds in order to avid or aggravate offence is a sign of wisdom and not of weakness”.
In the home, he wrote, “ The man is the head of the home. It is not a sign of weakness when he submits to his wife in certain matters”.
What we must know as Christians is that the Holy Spirit cannot be associated with anger or bitterness. They keep the Comforter away from us. A pastor who mounts the pulpit speaking in anger , is unlikely to hear from God.
Rather a sinner, who acknowledges his sin and asks for forgiveness, is a beneficiary of a miracle on the waiting list.
Luke 18 vs. 10-14 tells us of the story of the Pharisee and the Publican who met at temple to pray. As a Christian, you are likely to be familiar with the story.
We however take a look at verse 13 “ And the Publican, standing afar off, would not life up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying , God be merciful to me a sinner”.
Whereas, the Pharisee flaunted his credentials as a righteous person, who has no record of sin.
Brethren, it takes humility to be able to admit and confess our sins and take a decision not to return to such sins.
The book of 1st John 1 vs. 9 “ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
When God forgives us, and we forgive others, it fast tracks our breakthrough.
As the Lord lives, as you forgive someone who has wronged you today, God will visit you with an astonishing miracle in Jesus name.
We need not deceive ourselves that we are without sin except of our course, we are disputing the Word of God in verse 8 of the same chapter which states: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us”.
If the truth is not in you, the Word is not in you. If the word is not in you, then you should not expect a breakthrough.
A lady that due to lack of parental monitoring and the influence of bad friends committed abortion, three times. It was so bad that the doctor who performed the last surgery felt very sad and warned her to abstain from sex.
The lady got married and pregnancy was not forthcoming. Doctors said, she had secondary infection. She knew what she had done and went to God to ask for forgiveness. Our merciful God forgave her and today, she is mother of children.
So, what is that issue that you are holding on to. Perhaps an in-law said or did something that offended you. As a result, you vowed not to visit that in -law again. By so doing, if this in-law is someone your spouse is closely related to, he would say nothing but you may have created an emotional gap between you and your spouse and he would find it difficult to open up to you on any issue.
Brethren, let’s be humble enough to forgive.
Forgiveness makes God to intervene in your matter and his mercy could fast track your miracle.
May the Lord touch your heart to forgive as you await your miracle in Jesus name.