Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.
– Colossians 3:13
An interior change begins to take place when one makes a firm resolution to lead a fully Christian life. This calls for an on-going effort, day in day out, to practice all the virtues. It is a transfiguration involving the whole person – soul and body, mind and will.
Forgiveness is one characteristic of the “new” man or woman. Forgiveness is an expression of that love, which brings about harmony.
Forgiveness, meekness, patience, and gratefulness all reflect an essential virtue – humility. Only a humble person can be both forgiving and truly grateful, because only such a person realises that everything one has comes from God. This realisation leads us to be understanding towards our neighbour, forgiving as often as needs be. By acting in this way, we will be proving the genuineness of our faith, and of our love.
A POEM. A PRAYER…
Help me forgive others, Lord.
When rage and fury overwhelm my heart,
It’s time for me to look to Your Holy Word.
I search the Bible for Your good advice,
to be honoured by me, to be faithfully revered.
Lord Jesus, You reveal Your love for me;
In all things You work only for my good;
You give me blessings I can’t understand;
I’d be peaceful if I did the things You tell me I should.
Jesus, You forgave so much; why then can’t I?
I want to mould my life after Your own.
I pray, I try, but my sinful nature wins;
Lord, please help me, I can’t do this thing alone.
I read about Your peace, O Christ;
Oh, how I long to feel it in my heart.
All You want me to do is to forgive,
But Lord, I don’t quite know where to start.
The Bible tells me to “forgive as the Lord forgave you;
Get rid of anger and every form of malice.”
I’d love to just let go and release it all,
But upon my heart is a wound, a bitter chalice.
Do You wish me to walk in my offenders’ shoes,
and see things from a different point of view?
I know, You want me to be humble, and cry from my heart
and ‘forgive them, for they know not what they do.’
My Lord, I’ll keep praying and trying, no matter what;
I’m determined to let go; to surrender blame.
Very soon, I will say, and I’ll be truly sincere:
“I forgive it all in Jesus’ precious name.”
[this prayer was inspired by and is mainly a re-arrangement of a poem, with the same title, by Joanna Fuchs]