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Lockdown: A Time For Forgiveness?

Current lockdown measures around the world mean that most us are spending much more time in our homes. For many, this might place a strain on our close relationships. In this blog ROBINS ODIYO from our network shows how forgiveness can help us.

Every day, we go through the hills and valleys of life. Some of these experiences are exciting, whilst others leave us with scars that may last days, months or even years. We all have these scars in one way or another. We may acknowledge it or not. Many may not understand what’s happening to them. But almost everyone will feel the pain or sadness of an injury sustained at some point in life.

At this time, when we are struggling to overcome the COVID-19 virus, many of us are faced with challenges that might inflict more emotional pain. And sometimes our pain might cause us to hurt others.

There are certain emotions that show up when we have a wound that has not been fixed. Anger is the biggest one. Many men and women are angry at themselves, angry at God, at friends, at their husbands or wives, at their children, employer, work, parents, siblings. And in the majority of these cases, the real cause of anger is an emotional wound. Other emotions people show may include fear, anxiety, depression, a negative attitude, hopelessness or insecurity.

Unfortunately, many people find the wrong ways of coping with their issues. These may include denial, aggression or passivity, instead of seeking a healthy way to heal. True healing comes when we acknowledge our hurts, go through forgiveness, work on reconciliation where possible, and let God do a work of healing in us.

You need to let go of this baggage called a grudge. It makes you feel in control to hate, resent, and hold a grudge against whoever hurt you. But it is not helpful. Forgiveness is not a gift to someone else, but a gift to you. You deserve freedom from the past. Forgiveness does not mean you excuse the person from the wrong they did. It does not mean the offender is justified. It means you refuse to let the past live on and affect you negatively.

Christians such as myself always try to forgive. God gives us the power to forgive and to seek reconciliation. He says in Ezekiel 34:16 "I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice".

Jesus gives us a perfect example of forgiveness. While in agony on the cross, Jesus called out, exclaiming “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Another lesson is drawn from the book of Matthew 6: 14-15, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

If we want to be free and enjoy a peaceful life, let’s find it in our hearts to forgive those who might have offended us, knowingly or unknowingly. Through forgiveness, our wounds are healed and we receive peace in our hearts.

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