Were you offended by someone? Either intentionally or unintentionally? Did you choose to forgive, or you are still carrying on the burden of offense brought by the incidence? If you do, this Bible-based blog about choosing to forgive will surely encourage you to choose forgiveness over unforgiveness.
Offense means annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself. An offense is part of an everyday experience, in schools, in workplaces, in our circle of friends, in our family and even in social media – the most common and noticeable way is through “bullying”.
Alexander Pope mentioned that “to err is human, to forgive is divine” in one of his creation entitled “An Essay on Criticism”. Humans’ initial reaction to an offense can be described in Newton’s Third Law of Motion whereby it states that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”. As we get offended, we jump into a state where we get angry! This can go deep down into our senses for some time if we do not know how we should handle such situations in life.
In the book of Genesis, God created us in His image (Genesis 1:27). This means that we also possess the characteristics which God has and God expects that we will imitate the same – such as “forgiveness”. We will be able to live out the life with forgiveness as we continue to walk with God, read and meditate on His words, and praying.
As God wants us to live a forgiving life, He always serves as the best example.
- Adam and Eve
God created the first man and woman in Adam and in Eve. And He made them rulers in everything which He has created (Genesis 1:28). But the Fall of Adam and Eve happened when they were not able to overcome the temptation brought by the serpent (Genesis 3:1), and they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:17). This made them know the difference between the good and the bad.
God got disappointed with the situation and gave His rightful judgment to the serpent, to Eve and to Adam (Genesis 3:14-19). But one noticeable event after God made His judgment is when He “made garments for Adam and His wife and He clothed them” (Genesis 3:21) God remains to be a good Father to His creations, especially to Adam and Eve whom He created from His own image. God chose to forgive.
It is written in the book of John saying that If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)
2. Jesus at the Cross
Being crucified at the cross can be considered as the worst way to die for a criminal during that time. This feeling is magnified towards the crucifixion – from the moment when Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus over thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14). Jesus predicted Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:34) and it all happened.
Jesus was mocked, insulted. His blood flowed in every stripes He received. He is God. He could have summoned the angels to fight back. But Jesus is “forgiving”.
Through Him we entered a new covenant of grace that will surpass all the laws. The Bible says that we have been saved “by grace”.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
In a day to day basis, I always sing the song entitled “Build My Life” every morning:
Holy, There is no one like You
There is not besides you,
Open up my eyes in wonder
Show me who you are and fill me
With your heart and lead me
In your love to those around me
This psalm is very powerful to me as it declares the sovereignty of God on the wonders that He alone can do. And as we really dig deeper into the revelation of who God is in our lives, there is faith (assurance) that God will fill us with his heart that is compassionate to other people – a heart that chooses to forgive and love.
God wants to bring back the relationship with us and restore our identity as His sons and daughters. We may think that God will not care for us for so many times we have offended Him through our sins. But very truly I tell you that Jesus is a forgiving God and apart from it He wants to give us the assurance of salvation.
I thought my life was fine flowing based on my plans and will until He has changed the road i am travelling into the road that leads to Him – along that way I met Jesus.
A self-centred life became God-centred as I learned to honour and to devote myself to the One who has endured it all to save a wretch like me.
I am a favoured engineer by God at work, but serves as a Sunday School teacher (a builder) at Hope Church Singapore (in His Kingdom). It is because I see the value of reaching out the kids at their young age for Jesus.
To share testimonies on how God is changing me into whom He wanted me to be is one of the encouragement I can tell the world, but it is He who should gain the honour. Apart from him I have no good things.
I spread the seeds, some may water it but it is only God who can make it grow.