Our human nature leads us to ignore our own faults and look for an opportunity to accuse someone else. It causes us to become hard and we refuse to forgive. The world is full of people who think that other people are to blame…

(ASUSU. “Serra”)

I’ve noticed that some of us (perhaps all of us) collect grudges, insults, misfortune and personal injuries, and then look for the first opportunity to release all that pent-up anger onto someone else. In many people this results in an almost perpetual tendency to “over-kill”, so that when that certain someone such as a spouse, the girl at the check-out, someone of another faith, or our own precious child steps one inch over our little line of tolerance, we turn into fire-breathing monsters and pounce on them, pouring out all our frustration and aggression. This in turn expands their own collection of injuries and grudges, until one day in the future, they will also release years of anger, pain and frustration onto someone who just happens to step over their line.

In genuine Christian faith, unconditional love and forgiveness are not negotiable.  Jesus Christ said:

“…if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

Forgiving others is essential if we want to receive forgiveness from our God. There’s no heaven, no eternal life with the Creator, for those of us who refuse to forgive. And that doesn’t mean we just have to forgive people we like or who are good-looking, it also applies to those we don’t like, and those who have treated us badly. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean they’re “off the hook” if they haven’t changed their ways-God is the righteous judge who will right all wrongs one fine day.

Forgiveness releases our own mind and spirit from guilt and pain, and puts us into a right relationship with other people and with our God. It provides the wrongdoer the opportunity to be reconciled with us and to soften his attitude towards God.  Jesus set the perfect example, when, looking down from the cross at those who crucified him, said:

“Father forgive them, for they do not know not what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

So let’s try to pass the blame game, and stop collecting grudges.

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