Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
It is a privilege to forgive and to be forgiven. Yet, most of us including me will jump at receiving forgiveness rather than forgiven others.
But who wins when we forgive: The one who wins when we forgive depends on our understanding of the concept of what forgiveness is not and what is forgiveness. Forgiveness means releasing the offender of his offense unconditionally without demanding compensation, Matthew. 18: 21–27.
Unresolved conflict is not unconnected with our failure to forgive. The simple reason is our interest is on who wins when we forgive than resolving our differences. It is inherent in the human being to win all the time including winning every argument over the other person. But, when we are defeated we feel sad about it because we couldn’t take our pound of flesh.
Just as we do not forgive others, sometimes we do not forgive ourself as typify in the parable of the prodigal son and his brother. Most times we do not realize the importance of forgiveness to our dream fulfillment.So, let’s look at who wins when we forgive.
The first person who wins when we forgive is offended. It is you who forgives. That sounds absurd, right? You are correct. In the world it is he who avenges that wins but, in Christ, it is the person that accept denial, rejection, insult, and assault that wins. You win because you resemble your father who forgives you and everybody alike. This is because it will clear the communication pipe between you and God so, you wouldn’t have your prayers hindered.
Do you know that sometimes the person who offends is not even aware he has committed an atrocity? But, here you harbor hatred and carrying the burden that’s not yours. However, if you forgive, you’ll save yourself from the physical and spiritual damage associated with lack of forgiveness, such as heartache, headache, high blood pressure, stroke, and death.
Apart from that, it opens the door for your own forgiveness from both God and men. You win when you forgive as you make more friend than enemies. And this opens more and better opportunities in life for you. Not only these, you’ll make a fool of whosoever deliberately intended to frustrate your life thereby allowing the wrath of God on him Romans 2:20. Personally, I have found out that when I forgive it gives me more time to concentrate on better things than dwelling on that error. The price of forgiveness is cheaper when compared to the pain and loss of holding onto resentment and vengeance. Mind you it takes more muscle to frown than it takes to smile.
The second person that wins is the offender. Since some offenses are not deliberate. So, confronting and forgiving the offender make him realize his shortcoming and probably wouldn’t repeat such either to you or to someone else. Aside from that, the offender will have a great regard for you. If he acknowledges his shortcoming through your forgiveness, he could extend that to another person. The spilled over effect is a better relationship in the church, fellowship, and community.
The third group that wins is the community. This community could be the church, a club, a small group, neighborhood, school, workplace, etc. Where the spirit of forgiveness rules, God rules. When Jesus promised to answer whatever we ask in agreement he was not talking about holding our hands in prayer. He meant our spirit man also must agree. The move of God in the early church was not unconnected with the spirit of unity engendered by forgiveness.
An appraisal of the benefits of forgiveness reveals its impact not only on the offender but also on everybody that surrounds him. So, the next time you are tempted to ask who wins when I forgive ask do I want God and men to forgive me? On the question of who wins when we forgive? It is a win-win for all.
Do you find it difficult to forgive others?
Don’t you think the above benefits of forgiveness outweigh resentment?
Give it a shot and you’ll be happy about it.
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Author: Joseph Akinrinola
Joseph Akinrinola is a Pastor, Sunday school management coach, author, blogger, and a motivational speaker.
Joseph created this blog to help young Christians establish their
feet in Christ, and to provide Biblical time-tested answers to life’s
questions about relationship, christian living and personal development.