Many Christians are farmiliar with and often daily repeat the words of our the Lord’s prayer: ‘forgive us our trespasses…as we forgive those who trespass against
us’. But when they come face to face with situations that warrant the application of those words, it may not be so easy to say to themselves.
For a fact, some things are hard to forgive.
The hurt of someone you loved and trusted is the hardest. Imagine the pain of a betrayal.
Angela is a close friend. She wedded her husband 6 years ago and since then they have not been able to bear a child. They have
been waiting, hoping and praying while at the same time availing themselves to all the possibilities provided by medical science. However, as with most homes in traditional African society, Angela has borne the brunt of the in-laws anger. In truth, both husband and wife share a dose of the blame. The husband has a low sperm count and the wife has fibroid…
A few months ago, lady ‘x’ arrives Angela’s home and in typical Nollywood movie style declares she is pregnant for the husband While Angela prayed, hoped and waited, the husband was acting. Yet, she should
forgive…and then forget…
Chika’s story has an interesting twist. She made friends with Tony in secondary school because he was new in their class and no one would really make friends with a new boy. Soon though Chika discovered she and Tony shared the same love for reading. They started exchanging books, not just the
M&B series which was popular among young boys and girls in their
early teens back then, but more ‘mature’ reading.
Chika was therefore not surprised when Tony asked her to wait after school because he had some books for her. Little did Chika realize that Tony had arranged with a group of other boys to gang rape her. Yes, she
should forgive…and then forget…
Timmy loved his mother with all his heart. He would do anything for her.He modeled all his actions around her. When she was sad, he was sad. When she was excited, so was Timmy. She was his world…Until, one day,
Timmy awoke and his mother was no longer there for him. She had fallen in love with another guy and left his father. Timmy had to forgive…and then forget…
Why should Angela, Chika and Timmy forgive?
Greek was the language in which the ‘New Testament’ and by extension ‘The Lords Prayer’ was written. The Greek word for forgive as used by Jesus Christ is a.phi’e.mi. It literally means ‘let go off’.
Imagine carrying a weight and trudging up a mountain. It may be easy at first, but as the mountain gets steeper, the weight gets heavier. At some point, you would realize
that to get to the top of the mountain and achieve your goal, you must let go off the extra baggage. You must let go off the weight, otherwise you would remain at that one point, tethering between progress and
retrogress. When you finally ‘let go’, you become lighter. You can make
progress. You can reach your goal.
But then, forgive and forget?
Does that mean suffering some sort of temporary memory loss so as not to recall what sin has been committed against one?
Again, the Greek word for forget is epilanthano’mai means, ‘to lose out of mind’. Think of two children who get into a fight. Within minutes, they are back together again. They don’t brood, dredge up the past, or make demands before extending forgiveness.
When we do forget, it means we do not
leave that sin in the sinners account. Next time the person sins against us, which they surely will, we do not say, ‘oh, this was the
same thing you did the last time and now you are doing it again’. We wipe the slate clean and start over.
I do not know who has hurt you. I do not know who is weighing you down. I do not know who is stopping you from reaching your goal. But I do know, that you MUST forgive and then forget if you are to reach the top of that mountain. And our journey thru life is a mountain, the farther we travel, the steeper it becomes. You do not need any extra bagagge. Let go of the weight and lose it out of your mind and you will get to the top.