Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

The Power of Forgiveness

Last weekend in my student and young adult group in Liverpool, we explored the power of forgiveness. Each week, we approach our discourse from a personal and experiential perspective. In this case, we considered pertinent questions such as:

  • What is forgiveness?
  • Must I ALWAYS forgive others?
  • Is it possible to forgive ALL offences?
  • What if I don’t want to forgive?
  • He/she never apologised. Surely, I cannot forgive, right?
  • What if I forgive but have not forgotten?

Helping a friend in need

Forgiving because you’re forgiven

Forgiveness is a conscious decision, not a wish. To forgive, you must receive God’s grace to let go of the hurt caused you by others. Actually, the word ‘For-giveness indicates a readiness to give… even before asked. That’s why grace is essential because our natural tendency is to withold forgiveness.

Forgiveness (of others) cannot be looked at in isolation without considering God’s forgiveness to us. Our sins qualified us for eternal damnation. But the penalty for the same was borne by Christ on the Cross — that’s the greatest gift of forgiveness ever given.

Forgiving others becomes a natural response of the forgiven.

Those who are forgiven much forgive much —  Matthew 18:21-35. 

Why you must give forgiveness

Scripture is clear that we must give forgiveness to others. While our experiences and journey to forgiveness may differ, the demand of God has not changed. Take for example the case in the video below (watch it)…

Life is too short to be consumed by the bitterness and anger that stems from unforgiveness. 

Forgiveness is not always simple and straightforward in practice. But when we surrender the hurt to the Cross and remember that we have received forgiveness too, we find grace to let go and God fills us with the strength to live.

Don’t be consumed by the cancer of unforgiveness that gradually eats into the heart and soul.

Breaking your prison cell

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was YOU.”—  Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness frees you from a virtual prison that has the capacity to hinder you spiritually and emotionally. Don’t cage your life because of unforgiveness. Don’t hinder your progress because of unforgiveness. Don’t shut God out of your life because of unforgiveness.

God’s forgiveness to us releases us to experience His love. Our forgiveness to others releases us to give His love.

Think of the person(s) that need your forgiveness today and prayerfully give it.

Further reading: Luke 7:39-47, Matthew 7:7, Philippians 4:13.

Image courtesy of Huffington Post

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

3 Replies

  1. Donya M Dunlap

    Such an important truth. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. Reading your post reminds me of when I was a teen and I read about Corrie Ten Boon and how she was able to forgive the Nazi’s who killed her family and hurt her in the concentration camp. On her own she couldn’t forgive them, but with the help of Christ, she was able to let go of her hurt and anger and forgive.

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