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Embracing Forgiveness: Transforming Relationships and Faith

May 22, 2023 | 0 comments

May 22, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

As men and women in the world of today who have and are striving to live on the right path in regards to our faith, is there any difference from those who live having no faith? A good number of us really strive to be different and hope to live and be different. The question is ‘Are we?’

Today we have become our own culture’s product. When we begin experiencing difficulties and strife amongst each other in our lives, it has become natural to ignore and change focus to ourselves. There are moments when we become angry, anxious, sad, or even frustrated; we begin to naturally focus on our in-depth personal fears, needs, or rights. When we are faced with friction and conflict we want to begin fighting for ourselves by trying to win a battle and overpower our perceived opponent who we see as our enemy for wrong us. Yet another common response retreating from the ongoing situation by diligently avoiding the individual who wronged you or escapes into a refuge built by alcohol, television, food, or even shopping. I am certain that a good number of us can vividly relate to these forms of responses when wronged and are very familiar with them. Nevertheless, it is natural to have these human responses as humans when wronged.

 

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As people who stand by our faith, however, we need to appreciate the significance of our response in times of conflict between one another. We are not tied down as slaves to our own cultural norms and human instincts; we are free to decide to respond in a manner that substantially promotes interpersonal connection, peace, as well as a likely, reciprocated positive response from the people we are having a conflict with. Therefore, as Christians, we are encouraged as individuals to be in alignment with Christ’s mind which illustrates that our responses ought to be distinctly different from how the rest of society and the world as a whole respond. According to Romans 12:2, the Bible scripture states, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will” (The Holy Bible, 1992). The question is then, ‘How do we do that?’ and the answer that beats all emerging solutions significantly is forgiveness.

Forgiveness as Christians holds great significance in our lives for various reasons. Comprehending forgiveness is therefore key in our lives and forgiveness can only be understood within the understanding of God’s forgiveness (Wilson, 1994).

First of all, forgiving one another is an impactful way of glorifying God. Forgiveness enables us to change our focus after the conflict on our own rights and desires, thus making us build our focus on what others deserve after wronging you. Forgiveness helps us shift our focus from malice and towards love, mercy, power, wisdom, and compassion of God. Moreover, as Christians, we honor our faith through the choice of response in times of conflict through forgiveness.

Secondly, scripture encourages us not to judge others and thus encourages us to forgive one another instead to keep a healthy relationship amongst one another. Matthew 7:1-2 says that Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (The Holy Bible, 1992). As humans, our first and natural response is to point out and shine a spotlight on others’ imperfections while making excuses and significantly minimizing the same imperfections that may occur in us. As humans, we are specifically wired to naturally judge, blame as well as a stereotype the other person. Thirdly, Fetch (2012) points out that forgiveness is a gentle way of resolving conflicts as well as restoring and building interpersonal relationships.

Lastly, forgiveness helps us pursue peace and reconciliation through forgiving others just as God forgives us. Arnold (2014) explains that living with bitterness brings forth a negative perspective on life. Arnold (2014) further mentions that bitterness is highly destructive as well as builds one’s self-destructive power. All in all, forgiveness is the strongest motivation is forgiveness from others.

References

Arnold, J. C. (2014). Why Forgive? Plough Publishing House.

Ferch, S. R. (2012). Forgiveness and power in the age of atrocity: Servant leadership as a way of life. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.

The Holy Bible. (1992). London: Hodder and Stoughton.

Wilson. H.P. (1994). Forgiveness and Childhood Sexual Abuse: Relationships Among Forgiveness of the Perpetrator, Spiritual Well-Being, Depression, and Anxiety.

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