Have you forgiven a person that hurts you so much that you promised to yourself you won’t forgive him or her till your very last breath? If yes, that was awesome, if not, I hope and pray that the moment you are reading this, you would re-think to reconcile with this person soon.
Life seems so mysterious. There are things that are meant to happen but we didn’t expect it in the first place.
Life has many surprises. One day we woke up grateful, one day were not. One day, we feel satisfied and fulfilled, the next day were not. Therefore I conclude that life is unpredictable.
I remember that last time I joined a ministry in our church, a friend just grabbed me and put me out there unwillingly, yet I faithfully dedicated myself in service of others. Who would have thought that clicking slides for music and preaching would be fun? yet challenging as you have to deal with the little things in life.
2 years later, I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I joined the kid’s church as a volunteer teacher, not knowingly that this place is for the extrovert and teachers alike. I was surprised that I have to dance with the kids, talk to them and teach them, but anyway, it didn’t bother me. I grow as a person volunteering to this ministry with a mission to shape the future of the next generation that will walk in integrity and faith in God. And just this year, I was assigned to become a preacher for kids of ages 7 to 9 every week, and actually, this is my third week.
I still have to learn a lot, which I want to share it with you tonight.
Earlier, after preaching to the kids, there was a fight between two kids happened. A co-teacher noticed it and called out our attention. I am not literally a teacher by profession so I didn’t know how to confront and at the same time restore the kids. At the back of my head, what I am going to do? I am helpless.
Thankfully, another teacher came up. I watched her how he handled the situation and I learned something new! But I was amazed on the kid’s response because the one who use his fist cried out emotionally defending his cause, but the other one simply initiated peace and even offered his hand to him as a gesture of forgiveness. And that teaches me two things:
1. Forgiving is not complicated.
Sometimes, as adults, we make things complicated. I noticed that kids have no scale in terms of offense, whether it could be big or little petty things, that doesn’t matter when it comes to forgiving an offense.
But we as an adult aren’t the same, because of our experiences, fear started to cripple us every time we want to stand from our failures. We make our lives complicated.
Forgiving is easy but accepting is not. And I think that’s one of the reasons why most of us cannot forgive. If we only can accept the things the way it is, forgiving would not be a problem.
2. Forgiving is a divine act.
We cannot forgive when we are not forgiven.
That’s one of the things I’ve learned from reading the Bible. To forgive is a divine act because it was first initiated by God. By understanding this, we can forgive the people that have offended or have hurt us.
Some people says: “History repeats itself.” While this may be true in some context, but I may say, History can never repeat itself once we decided to forgive and moved on. We can remember what happened in World War 2 about the Germany-Israel Holocausts. After Adolf Hitler died, Jews did not even consider Germany as an enemy after all the damages they have done.
Going back, the kid who initiated the handshake, did a great job. He did not think twice, he just offered his hand without retaliating or defending himself. His parents must be proud of him. I never know if he understands what forgiveness is already at his young age, but I’m pretty sure, his parents effectively demonstrating it at home.
Jesus initiated the act of forgiveness of our sins by willfully submitting to the will of God by dying on the cross, that can serve as a reminder for us whenever we have the hard time to forgive.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. — Colossians 3:13 NLT