Forgiveness shows Christian maturity

Written by Alfred Ofori Agyemang.

“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (NKJV) Mathew 6:15

Anger and unforgiveness have been a thorn in the flesh of man since creation. It does not matter whether people are few or many, anger exists with its terrible consequences. Shortly after creation, Cain killed his brother Abel because of anger that he could not control (Genesis 4:8). Uncontrolled anger in the family, community, country and the church result in terrible outcomes. Anger is at the core of all the problems of humanity. Divisions in the church are even the saddest ones; people who are supposed to tolerate each other and co-exist harmoniously. Tensions in the family, workplace and the general community emanate from uncontrolled anger. Inter-tribal wars and wars between countries all add up to the fact that man has difficulty dealing with anger control. Anger is an intemperate desire for revenge; hostile and wrathful feelings toward others.

Mankind has been trying all means physically possible to deal with the negative consequences of anger. We have tried using legality to address it over the years but it keeps failing. Look at what is happening in the United States of America and mass killings. All countries worldwide have legal documents to try to prevent people from doing harm when they get angry. The results prove that it is not the solution since some people are ready to revenge on others later to be punished with the country’s laws. Diplomacy then came in to also resolve issues of anger and its associated repercussions. From the United Nations being the highest level to individual countries and to communities. This has also not been the best solution.

The word of God is truth and it shall forever stand. The biblical solution to anger is the best if we all need a solution to uncontrolled anger. The Holy Scriptures prescribe forgiveness as the solution to the problems that arise from anger. Be angry but not sin (Ephesians 4:26). Take note, forgiveness does not mean: denying the other person’s responsibility for the wrong; condoning bad behaviour; minimizing or justifying it; excusing the injury or wrong, or Waiving the right to justice or compensation.

Choosing to reconcile or remaining in an abusive relationship or environment does not constitute forgiveness. Forgiveness depends on you but reconciliation needs cooperation from the other person. Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his or her crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim (letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor). Forgiveness is when you give up your right to exact retribution from the individual who hurt or wronged you. In forgiveness, you choose to think about something else rather than harbouring resentment. You refrain from repeatedly bringing up the incident to yourself and/or others. Let us show Christian maturity by forgiving others. Amen

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