Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Most if not all of the things we learn from the Bible is counter cultural. In a world that preaches self and individual rights; very often we forget that putting self first perpetuates the messed-upness of the world we live in. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience are not seen as strengths but as weaknesses. And when it comes to forgiving others, most of us don’t truly understand the forgiveness that we have received from up high. Which is why it is so difficult for us to forgive.
I found it very difficult to forgive until I realised one day that I myself needed forgiveness. The best part is that I have been given that forgiveness for no other reason than God extending it to me out of the bigness and goodness of His heart. It’s alien to forgive. It’s more in our nature as fallen beings to take our anger out on someone. Forgiveness is a lesson that I learn every day and sometimes it just feels like I’m being stepped all over by people. Even thought it feels like that; my head and heart tells me it’s the right thing to do because of the forgiveness that I myself have received. Along the way I’ve learned these 2 lessons:
- Unforgiveness hurts us emotionally & physically.
- Unforgiveness traps us in the past.
- Unforgiveness keeps us from moving on.
On the flip-side, having the humility to ask for forgiveness is a difficult thing to do as well. We are prideful creatures full of ourselves and damages our egos to say we’re sorry. I’ll be honest to say that I can’t stand to be wrong as much as any other person but I’d like to believe that I have learnt more in the past few years on being able to admin my wrongs & mistakes. The hard part is approaching that person and saying I’m sorry; mostly because I just don’t know how that other person would respond. From first-hand experience forgiveness is something not that easy to give and in my personal experience to ask for forgiveness from someone feels like I’m waiting to be judged or pardoned. I get an anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach which makes me very, very uncomfortable.
It’s tough both ways whether we’re asking or giving forgiveness but nevertheless it is the right thing to do to bridge the gaps we often face in our relationships & friendships.