UNFORGIVENESS

As painful and disheartening as offences can be, they still occur. There’s only one thing you can do about offences after you realize you have been offended: forgive!

Some people who have offended you:

1. Are not aware, so forgive.

2. Pretend not to be aware, but you still forgive.

3. Don’t see why you should be offended at such a ‘simple’ thing, forgive.

4. Don’t even care that you are offended, forgive.

5. Are genuinely sorry, so forgive.

When you refuse to forgive, you become enslaved to the one who has offended you. Only a few thoughtful people will carry the burden of guilt when they know you have not forgiven their offence against you but the greater burden is on you the offended. Don’t wait for them to come and apologize before forgiving, that apology may never come. Let go and let God.

Offences are real, and effects are as real as the causes. The earlier we forgive, the better.

WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO FORGIVE

Worthington and Scherer (2004) noted that forgiveness is complex, describing two types of forgiveness. “Emotional forgiveness” is rooted in emotions and affects motivation, and involves emotional experiences. “Decisional forgiveness” is behavioural, wherein one seeks to behave toward a transgressor as they did before the transgression occurred, releasing the transgressor from the debt (Worthington & Scherer, 2004).

Offences carry with them bitter feelings. Forgiveness can’t be complete until we release this bitter feeling. A change in behaviour of the offended towards the offender usually follows this release to once again live as before. When we forgive but can’t forget, it because we are still holding on to the hurt emotions.

UNFORGIVENESS

“Failing to forgive, or unforgiveness is the practice of engaging in ruminative thoughts of anger, vengeance, hate, and resentment that have unproductive outcomes for the ruminator, such as increased anxiety, depression, elevated blood pressure, vascular resistance, decreased immune response, and worse outcomes in coronary artery disease. Practising forgiveness enables the transgressed individual to reduce their engagement in rumination, thus reducing their experience of anger, resentment, and hate. Forgiveness, then, is a pathway to psychological well-being and health outcomes.” Norman, K (2017) Forgiveness: How it Manifests in our Health, Wellbeing, and Longevity.

Ruminating thoughts of anger, vengeance, hate, and resentment

When you keep playing back in your mind, all the hurt feelings, hatred, anger and vengeance because of an offence, then you are engaging in unforgiveness.

EFFECTS OF UNFORGIVENESS

1. Increased anxiety

2. Depression

3. Elevated blood pressure

4. Vascular resistance

5. Decreased immune response

6. Heart diseases

7. It is self-destructive: can’t you see you are destroying your life and nearing your grave with these deep periodic sighs of hmmm! Hmmm! Hmmm!?

8. It imprisons

9. It is a simple but sometimes forgotten truth that the greatest enemy to present joy and high hopes is the cultivation of retrospective bitterness.—Robert G. Menzies

10. Loss of Freedom: Consumed with, Controlled by, and Become Like the Offender

This is possibly the worst of the consequences of unforgiveness and it is so easy to fall into this trap.

Consumed with the offender—How can you be free when you spend so much time thinking about how they hurt you? Your mind is stuck on trying to resolve something that only God can handle effectively. When you spend that much time thinking about them, it is like building a nice house for them in your mind and moving them in. You paint and maintain the house, because you constantly visit it and THEM.

Bitterness and vengeance are traps. Vengeance is considered a “right”. Bitterness blinds you and moves you to a place you never wanted or intended to be. You think it will make you better, but it just makes you bitter. And bitterness is an open wound, draining life from you.

Controlled by the offender—They not only consume your mind, worse yet, they control you. The longer you carry the grudge, the more they control your thoughts, actions, and feelings. The more you want vengeance, the more energy drains from you as you plot, seek, or try to get revenge. And, even if you do get revenge, you often have regrets, second-guesses or feel it wasn’t enough. Enjoy the consequences of unforgiveness!

Conformed to be like the offender—Consider this. If you want to learn golf or tennis, you spend time playing and thinking about it. If you want to learn something new, you read about it, think about it. When you immerse yourself into something; it becomes part of you. So, the more energy you use and the more time you spend thinking about the person who wronged you, the greater the chance they have to influence your thoughts and actions. You increase the possibility of becoming just like them.

The Lord has a better path for you. He wants you to renew your mind. He wants your mind controlled by His thinking, by truth. Most importantly, He does not want you to renew your mind to just anything; it is to renew your mind to the truth. https://gr8relate.com

11. Bitterness

12. FORGIVE AND YOU SHALL BE FORGIVEN ALSO Matthew 18:21-35

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

WHAT YOU DO TO others will determine what God will do to you. Don’t be like the unforgiven man in the above scripture. FORGIVE!!!

Submitting your life to Jesus will equip you to let go of hurt feelings.

Pray this prayer with me

Father, I come to you today just as I am; I have found my greatest challenge today I.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving me the right standing in your presence today. Amen.

As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to your right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.

If you have been blessed by this post, feel free to tell a friend about it by sharing the link with them. God bless you as you live an offence-free life.

 

OFFENCES II

 


In my previous post, OFFENCES I, you may click on this link and read it if you have not read it yet, we defined offence as an act of upsetting and hurting the feelings of another, causing annoyance in another because of rudeness or lack of respect, or breaking or going against a law or principle another person holds dearly. Real offences are the ones we cause to others or others cause to us whiles the perceived offences are the ones we inflict on our own selves by judging the motives of people for what they do without hearing their side of the story.

In this post, OFFENCE II, we shall consider what to do about offences.

Matthew 11:2-6

2.Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,

3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Jesus makes a powerful statement here in verse 6. A little background may help appreciate the above scripture. John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus and six months older than Jesus, was the baptizer of Jesus. He did not just baptize Jesus; it was he who introduced Jesus to the world. John, by divine assignment, was already an accomplished preacher with a wide coverage of influence and respect. It was by his recommendation that Jesus found his feet in the preaching assignment. His testimony about Jesus helped to clear a lot of doubts in the minds of the people concerning Jesus.

At a point in time, he even had this to say: He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.

I once heard a very interesting scenario from Dr. Mike Murdock. He told of a young, brilliant lawyer who had just completed his education and had been called to the bar. Life had become unbearable for this young lawyer because he had no clients, cases or money. One day, he went to visit an old, experienced, busy and rich lawyer to help him out.

This senior lawyer helped the young lawyer because he had been in that situation before. He placed his arm around the neck of the young lawyer, took a stroll through some busy streets and kept on having a heart-to-heart conversation publicly, and then finally let him go home. The young man got home looking very dejected. He had expected this experienced lawyer to have given him a few of his many clients to represent them in court in order to make ends meet.

A few days afterwards, his phone rang. Clients started bringing their cases to him. Why? People thought that if such a reputable lawyer would hang out with this young lawyer, then he had some credibility. What had happened? The senior lawyer deliberately introduced the young, intelligent lawyer to the corporate world by associating publicly with him, thereby recommending him.

John the Baptist, with all of his years’ experience had publicly approved of Jesus to the extent of losing two of his disciples to Jesus. Upon all these friendly gestures towards Jesus, he could not just believe that Jesus will not come and visit him when he was imprisoned. He expected at least one visitation from Jesus, but this never occurred. That offended him so much if he sent his disciples to go to Jesus and ask if he was the saviour or they should expect another saviour. It was to this question that Jesus mentioned that ‘… blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.’

What must you do when you feel offended?

1.      Accept that you are really hurt by the action or perceived motive of another.

Rather than lie or pretend about it, come to terms with it. You can’t deal with hurt feelings until you acknowledge it.

2.      Give the other person (offender) the benefit of the doubt.

There have been moments in my life that I realized how wrong I was in my conclusion after taking the time to listen to the explanations people gave for certain actions they took. Every human being, no matter how bad they might look, has some level of goodness in them, listen to people. Before you conclude on anybody, listen to them first. You may come to whatever conclusion you deem appropriate, but before you take that entrenched position, listen to them first.

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

3.      Determine to have an offence free mentality.

Make a pledge not to entertain an opinion that God has offended you or man has offended you. Real offences abound daily all around us, but you don’t spend your mind’s energy on them. It’s like the saying that you can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making their nests in your hair.

Joseph had every reason on earth to feel offended by his brothers, but

Genesis 50:20 -21

20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

He looked at circumstances through the eyes of God. All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. And that includes offences.

 


4.      Look beyond the offence to see what God might be up to with each offence you face.

How else would Joseph have ended in Egypt in the first place had his brothers not sold him? It was the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife that landed him in prison to meet Pharaoh’s servant, who later on gave him that golden opportunity in meeting with Pharaoh in later years.

As painful as offences are, there is a higher divine purpose with every offence that comes our way. Have a positive attitude towards the painful and devastating offences that come our way.

To err, they say, is human but to forgive, divine. We all require divine enablement to forgive our offenders. Submitting your life to Jesus will equip you to let go past hurt feelings.

Pray this prayer with me

Father, I come to you today just as I am; I have found my greatest challenge today I.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving a right standing in your presence today. Amen.

As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to your right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.

In my subsequent blogging, I shall take you a step further in overcoming unforgiveness.