For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: – Matthew 6:14
Having been through complex trauma, as I have mentioned before, of being traumatised in early childhood with long-term neglect, then I was separated from my father when I was eight, I was sexually abused and bullied all throughout primary years to high school, has suffered from domestic violence and forced displacements of homes, schools and countries time and time again very frequently. There were many people in my life that have done wrong against me, but I have forgiven all of them, because I do realise that no matter how abused that I was, under their abusive power over me, I know that in this human life, no one is perfect, including myself, that I am not beyond sin.
I would ask in prayer daily and confess about myself who has already forgiven everyone in this life. I do realise that there is power behind forgiveness, because it is putting the weight off your shoulders, by not holding any bitterness against a person. It could be hard to forgive those who have wronged against me in the past, however, I have learnt from the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ, that He loves us so unconditionally that when I have sinned against Him, and when I am on my knees asking for forgiveness, He would always forgive me every time. His great mercy has been an example for me to learn from.
To forgive, it means to not return evil for evil and to be kind and loving to them. The scripture said that we are to love our enemies and to do good to them who hurt us. It also says that it is wise to forgive everyone to be forgiven by our Father in heaven, because the magnitude of the forgiveness from Christ cannot be compared to the things that others have wronged against us, in one of the parable. The reason is simply because with the forgiveness of sins from Christ in our lives, are we able to be completely reconciled with Him for an eternity, for sin has separated the relationship between God and humanity. To hold bitterness in our hearts, it means to hold sins in our lives and with this, it means an eternal separation from God in hell fire. I know that the truth is hard to swallow, but the scripture did warned against hell fire.
To forgive others is to love others, even if not to forgive others like a little child with a smile, but at least to surrender that hurt and pain to God, knowing that He is the avenger of all things and the final judge. In regards of retaliation, being offended by another person does not give us a licence to sin and to return evil back to them and this does not mean that God will not account this retaliation. There will be a judgment day coming, when those sinners who have not repented of their sins will have to face their God, despite not acknowledging Him back then when there was still a breath of life in them. The scripture has said that without love, we are nothing, regardless of how much wisdom we have in this world or how much riches and possessions that we have, if one is without love, a love that was described was a love that is selfless, a selfless love that is self-sacrificial, a love that is Christ-like, full of fruits of righteousness.
The time when I have forgiven everyone in my life, I have experienced a freedom like I have been set free from the bondage that I was in. The time when Jesus was being persecuted, mocked and crucified to death, He was, even in His last breath, He was with a heart of forgiveness upon those who have done wrong against Him. It was a great example to learn from, that even to the point of death, He was forgiving those who have done wrong against Him. When He was scoffed by those who persecuted Him, He opened not His mouth. It was another example to learn from Jesus by not taking a revenge against another, for God alone is the judge and He will judge righteously, according to the works of men afterlife.
Right now, I am still dealing with the reality of living in an extremely traumatised state every single day, however, despite this, I am carrying an attitude to forgive, not only to those of the past, but also being prepared for the future, because as long as there is still a breath of life in me, there might be days when people will traumatise me again, but the only respond that I would give, is to forgive them, just as what Christ has done for me. What also has turned me away from holding unforgiveness in my heart is the fear of The Lord. The word says that the fear of The Lord is to turn away from evil. Knowing that The Lord Jesus is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell as the second death, while what man can do to me would only be the first death, which is the physical death of the body, while the second death is the spiritual death of the soul and spirit. The trembling before the presence of God was enough for me to turn away from anything that is not of Him, because with bitterness, there is a lot of trouble therein.
With bitterness, when it develops, it can grow and grow deeper each and every single day. Then it could turn into more sins, sin after sin, even before you would realise it, such as maliciousness and retaliation. We can learn from the example of Cain, back in the days of Adam and Eve, where he slain his own brother Abel, due to the jealousy in his heart, also with jealousy, it came bitterness and all sorts of sins would begin to come out from the heart. There is a lot of problem that can proceed and birthed out from bitterness and unforgiveness, because it leads to all kinds of sins eventually, if one decides to let it to stay inside. Therefore, there is a power of forgiveness, because it is a part of the healing process of one’s heart.