We cannot love ourselves and others unless we forgive first. In this season of Lent, forgiveness is one of the invitations for us in order to attain conversion or change of heart. How often must we forgive? When we speak of forgiveness, this is one of the questions that we usually ask ourselves as we deal with it.
It is the same question Peter asked to Jesus when he asked him about the value of forgiveness and its significance over retaliation. Jesus answered him; “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Mt. 18:21-22). What does this answer of Jesus to the question of Peter mean for us? In forgiving ourselves and others it must always be constant. Forgiveness is not a product of sweet-coated words, honeyed thoughts, and burst of emotions; it is always a matter of the heart.
Indeed, Joel Osteen is right in saying these words about forgiveness; We have to remember, when we forgive we’re not doing it just for the other person, we’re doing it for our own good. When we hold on to unforgiveness and we live with grudges in our hearts, all we’re doing is building walls of separation.
We cannot deny the fact that it’s really hard to be constant in forgiving ourselves and others. As I put myself in this situation, it’s unavoidable to hold on to unforgiveness and live with grudges in our hearts especially when the pain of rejections, embarrassments, disappointments, and regrets still remain. But, if I will not forgive from my heart, it’s hard to move on with life. Hence, hate will always be haunting us in our daily struggles, but forgiveness will always remain victorious.
Forgiveness sets us free and teaches us the lesson of letting go. We cannot be at peace with ourselves and others unless we let ourselves to be influenced by the power of forgiveness. If God forgives with mercy and compassion just like what the king did to his servant who owed him a huge amount of debt in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, how about us? Whether, how big or small our sins to Him He is still forgiving and loving God.