If I’ve made a mistake and I apologized, would you forgive me? If I didn’t come when you called and I apologized, would you forgive me? If I wasn’t there when you needed me and I apologized, would you forgive me? Often times we answer yes, but do we really forgive? You say you forgave me, but each time we argue, you bring it up. Yes, I know I cheated once, but you said you forgave me and we’ve been making it work, so why do you keep bringing it up? Yes, I know I wasn’t there for you when your mom died, but you said you forgave me so why do you still have that hanging over our relationship? Yes, I know I went out of town when I was supposed to celebrate your birthday, but you said you forgave me so why do you bring it up every year? Forgiveness means that you have pardoned me for the mistake or wrongdoing and pardon means to release. So, it ultimately means that you’ve released me from any further punishment from whatever mistake that I made, or so you said. Proverbs 17:9 says “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.”
If every time I come around, you bring up the mistakes of my past, I’ll eventually stop coming. Why do I have to constantly be reminded of things that I use to do when the bible says in Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past?” Yea, I may have been addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, but I’m not anymore. God has cleaned me up, thrown my past sins in the sea of forgetfulness and made me new, so why do I have to keep answering to you? Yea, I may have been a deadbeat dad, but I apologized and I am here now, so why do you keep belittling me? Yea, I know that I use to run away every time things got hard, but I’ve changed and I don’t run anymore so why do you keep pushing me away? If you said you’ve forgiven me, then why are you constantly judging, criticizing and waiting for me to mess up again? If Jesus, after being whipped all night, made to wear a crown of thorns, drug from judgment hall to judgment hall being punished for crimes he didn’t commit, made to carry his own cross, nailed to that same cross, pierced in his side, hands and feet, can still ask for forgiveness from his Father for the ones who has done all these things (Luke 23:34); then who are you to constantly make me suffer?
You may have never been addicted to drugs but if you shop every day, then you have an addiction, so why can’t you forgive? You may have never cheated on your spouse, but if you’ve thought about it or lusted after another, then you’ve cheated, so why can’t you forgive? You may have never been a thief, but if you’ve ever walked off with someone’s pen and didn’t return it, isn’t it the same, so why can’t you forgive? Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Forgiveness is not for the person who committed the mistake or wrongdoing but it is for you or the person who it was committed against. If you constantly hold hatred towards a person that has done you wrong, then it consumes you because hate eventually turns into resentment and resentment turns to bitterness and bitterness turns you into an ugly person that no one wants to be around. The bible says in Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.” If you hold hate for anyone then it blocks you from receiving what God has for you. If you don’t believe me, read 1 John 4:20 which say “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
If God keeps forgiving you every time you run to him when you’ve made a mistake, then who are you to constantly have me begging for forgiveness? If God treated us like we treat our own family and friends, then most of us would be tore up, raggedy, filthy and not worth the breath that he puts into our bodies. But because he forgives us each time we repent, our slate is washed clean and God doesn’t dwell on the past. But, oh, we show up in church on Sunday morning ready to show out for God with our praise and dance and then argue all the way home because you saw Sis. So and So look at me and you think something must be going on because it’s what I use to do. Chile, God isn’t hearing your foolishness. You won’t forgive your spouse, your brother, mother, father or co-worker but you’ll quickly forgive Pastor Lying when he stands in the pulpit confessing his sins after it has been brought out to the world. Baby, get it together! Forgiveness is the same for everybody and I know folks say, I’ll forgive but I won’t forget, then you haven’t forgiven because with forgiveness comes forgetfulness. If you forgive then you should forget, that way you don’t keep bringing it up because each time you bring it back up, you are stirring the pot.
So, forgive! When you think you can’t forgive or you don’t want to forgive, read this sentence over. In your forgiveness you gain favor and favor increases your faith and your faith makes you fruitful!