FORGIVENESS IS A VIRTUE.
If there is one thing that is practically difficult to do, it is forgiveness. The nature of man is such that is easily offended. No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 11:6 and Luke 7:23, “And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me”. People easily take offence at the actions and inactions of others; they get hurt and then find it difficult to forgive. However, offence will definitely come (Luke 17:1). The Contemporary English Version of Luke 17:1 says, “There will always be something that causes people to sin…”. Therefore, whether we like it or not, people will always offend us.
In the story of the Prodigal son (Luke 15:20-30), a little wonder is why the elder brother was offended by the fact that his younger brother came back home and was forgiven. He was accepted back to the family and the fatted calf was even killed to celebrate his return. The elder brother never expected his father to forgive such an ungrateful and squanders son. It was out of the natural order to forgive such a person.
Forgiveness has become so difficult to the extent that it is unbelievable when expressed in our present society. If you tell a person that you have forgiven him, he will still ask you whether you are sure. It’s quite funny that even the offender does not believe he would be forgiven. It’s sad that this was the same situation the prodigal son found himself in when he said in verses 18 to 19;
“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: MAKE ME AS ONE OF THY HIRED SERVANTS.”
Forgiveness is not easy. That is why it is a virtue. Forgiveness is the nature of God and He does not mark iniquity like the elder brother of the prodigal son did when he recounted his own good deed while recounting the unforgivable evil his younger brother exhibited. He told his father that he served him for many years and has never at any time sinned against him. This might be true but the elder brother is just like members of a Christian gathering who will not go after a lost soul in the church and when a member who left the church at a point but later returned to the church as a transformed soul, they get offended rather than rejoice and thank God for his life.
“For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16)
One of the reasons God is to be feared is that there is forgiveness and salvation with Him. He will have mercy on whomsoever He chooses to be an object of his mercy. Even if your sin is as scarlet, God is full of mercy and will make them white as snow. He is not a man; he will forgive and receive you again.
Father, please forgive me of my sins and teach me to make forgiveness a virtue. May I be able to forgive all those who have wronged me and those who will wrong me in Jesus' name.