Monday, 28 December 2015

'Father, Forgive Them, For They Do Not Know What They Are Doing'

Have you ever battled with lack of mercy from someone that you wronged and apologized to but that was not willing to forgive you?
Have you ever considered that those who wrong you ‘do not know what they are doing’ and that you 'do not know what you are doing' when you wrong others? Maybe we would be more merciful if we always remembered this.
Today, GOD has quickened me to talk to you about forgiveness. I do not know if you mess up as much as I do but in case you do, this message is for you.
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins” (Mark 11:25-26).
I will often hurt people unintentionally but, over the years, GOD has taught me to apologize for my misdeeds but also to forgive those who have wronged me. It is so humbling to note that GOD is more willing to show me mercy than man is and it seems as if the more mercy I receive from GOD, the more I am required to show mercy man! You see, it is written that if I do not forgive men, my Father in heaven will not forgive me. Therefore, it is important for me to show mercy to man even if man is not willing to accord me the same privilege.
A few years back, a misunderstanding between two friends put me in a very uncomfortable situation. I was a friend to both of them and did not want to be caught in the ‘crossfire’. In addition, I treasured them both given our history together and had no reason to sever the friendship on either side. However, one of them tried to do so but being much older than she is I was mature about it and brought her back into my life.
Now, something happened after that to sway that ‘friendship’ again and it happened in the presence of her husband. He unknowingly shared things with me that I did not know of. Even if, I had considered myself a good friend and as such privy to such life battling experiences, this ‘friend’ had not shared them with me. Consequently, I expressed my disappointment to her husband who told her. My friend then went out of her way, took me out, and apologized for the misunderstanding and I forgave her. However, as usual, I felt that GOD was saying something. I felt that GOD was telling me that our friendship was nonexistent but since she apologized, we needed to forge a way forward or so I thought.
Now the time came, and I hurt the couple deeply. Of course, I apologized to her as my Father in heaven had taught me to do. Nonetheless, my apology was met with a thinly veiled lack of mercy. Even though, my friend insisted that they had put it behind them, I felt that something was not right. Therefore, I made some decisions in line with this that upset her so much that she found it hard to accept. A gap was created.
Months went by and being a servant of GOD, GOD expected me to bridge the gap and was not slow in telling me so. Quickly yet hesitantly, I took the necessary actions and tried to reconnect with her. However, even if she pretended to accept my aim at reconciliation, my friend was not willing to open that door again. I could tell that she had not forgiven me. For some time there, I felt hurt but then let it go by the grace of GOD. 
I would often look back at the above scenario and wonder about a few things. I wondered, and still do, how someone who went out of her way to seek mercy from me, and received it, could fail to offer the same to the one who had shown it to her...  
It made me sad but it also confirmed so many things to me. Maybe, the time when we had first had that misunderstanding was the time of closure for the ‘friendship’...maybe, my role in her life was not to be a ‘friend’ but a minister of GOD supposed to give her Godly counsel...oh...JUST MAYBE!
Whatever the situation really was, I am glad that I did all that I was supposed to do as a ‘friend’ but also as a servant of GOD – I made every attempt at reconciliation by reconnecting with her, by according her mercy when she needed it, and asking for mercy when I needed it in turn.
Today, I do not know why but the Spirit of GOD has prompted me to share the above experience with you. I feel led to tell you to examine that ‘relationship’, see what you have done well (in line with seeking mercy) by the guidance of the Spirit of GOD, and then rest your case. You have done all that GOD required of you. Let it go and leave the rest to GOD. 
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
We often approach the Mercy seat in search for mercy and GOD is always quick to give it to us. Sadly, though, we are less merciful to those who wrong us! Allow me to remind you that once someone says ‘I am sorry’ or ‘I apologize’, it is FINISHED! Just as He did on the Cross, thousands of years ago, shortly after Jesus said that ‘forgive them LORD, for they do not know what they are doing’, He said, ‘It is finished’! Once forgiveness or mercy goes out, IT IS FINISHED! You did your part and IT IS FINISHED!
It would also do us well to remember that people do not wrong us because ‘they know what they are doing’ they wrong us because they ‘do not know what they are doing’ just like our Savior said! Remember this next time someone hurts you!
Dear GOD, I am sorry that I have often been merciless towards those that have hurt me yet you have been merciful to me. I now approach your mercy seat and ask you to forgive me for not showing mercy as much as you want me to. Give me the grace to be more merciful remembering that those who wrong me do not know what they are doing just as I do not know what I am doing when I wrong others. In Jesus’ name, I have prayed, amen.

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