We as human beings are bound to make mistakes in life, because no one but God is perfect. When others hurt us or mistreat us it is so easy to get upset, angry and hold on to a grudge for days, weeks, months and years. Some people actually die with grudges in their heart, never forgiving others.
Forgiveness, is something I personally had to work on and found very difficult. I used to always wonder, why God had given us this difficult task. When I was younger, I used to have three strikes and you are out rule. If anyone did something wrong to me, I would give them three chances and then I was done with that person. My dad who forgives others so easily, was quick to point out to me, this type of thinking is very dangerous, harsh and is not a behavior of a Christian. He would repeatedly tell me it stands against everything Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was trying to teach us and he was absolutely right!
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Christ makes it clear that in order to be forgiven, humans must forgive others: “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NKJV)
Likewise, after the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, St. Peter came to our Lord and Savior and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV)
As Tewahedo Orthodox Girls and followers of Christ, it is our duty and command from God to forgive others no matter how difficult it may be. Don’t ever give the power to anyone, to hold you back from fulfilling God’s command!
Below is a wonderful story on forgiveness. Enjoy!
Two friends were walking through the desert. At some point in the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.”
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one, who had been slapped, got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After the friend recovered from nearly drowning, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.”
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, but now you write on a stone… why?”
The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it in sand… where the winds of forgiveness can erase it from view. But, when someone does something good for us, we should engrave it in stone… where no wind can ever remove it.”