It happened years back. I had a mild quarrel with my wife Stella. She came to me for a compromise but I was not ready. She apologized; still I was reluctant to forgive. Then she asked me a question: “What, if God does the same to you? If He is unmoved?”
These words flashed through my mind like a lightning. What will happen to me, if God is hesitant to forgive me? Wouldn’t my life be a disaster if God did not forgive all the sins I committed through words and deeds all through my life. How can I wholeheartedly pray in this state; ‘Forgive my sins as I forgive those who sin against me?’ Suddenly my anger and persistence melted and I was ready for a compromise.
Many people lose their peace of mind being hard heartened at the call of the Lord to repent. Every obstinate behavior has its root in pride. Only when we are humble we could forgive and love one another wholeheartedly. The thirst to execute our justice and put away God’s justice is hidden in obstinate nature.
I have come across many ‘pious’ people reluctant to forgive the small mistakes of previous years done by their parents. Some are unable to forgive their dead foes. Some others ruin their life persisting without forgiving. Like other sins, unforgiving nature also has an intoxicating effect. We should open our minds to Christ’s unconditional love, to be able to forgive.
God gave us His only son unconditionally. Son of God died for us without complaining and remorse, accepting all the sufferings. Therefore we should give up our unforgiving mind though others do not change their attitudes. Lenten season is a special opportunity for being humble and loving others. Unless we sacrifice our Self, we cannot forgive completely. Let us build a new culture of love emptying ourselves of all selfishness.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help us to forgive unconditionally all those who have offended us. Let this season be a moment to strip out the old man within ourselves and enter into the joy of resurrection with a new life. Amen.
– – – written by Benny Punnathara