We all have things that other people do to us that have injured us or harmed us in some way. And all of us have done something wrong against other people. No one is perfect, or as pure and Holy as God is. We are all human beings and we cannot always control our thoughts and emotions; and sometimes we do things that we don’t want to do. We hurt other and others hurt us: we are not surprised about this fact of life.
Jesus asks us to forgive other people when they have sinned against us. Jesus teaches us through the Bible that we are to forgive other people when they sin against. We are not allowed as Christians to have hard hearts towards other people even if they have done something to hurt us.
Let’s listen to a story about a father and one of his sons. This son left home and spent all his time on prostitutes and wild living. Then when the son had nothing left and was starving he came back home. His father forgave him for all his sins and welcomed him back home.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.” – Luke 15:13-24.
“Maalmo aan badnayn dabadeed wiilkii yaraa waa wada urursaday wax walbaba, oo dhul fog ayuu u safray, halkaas ayuuna wixiisii ku khasaariyey, isagoo iska tumaya. Goortuu wada bixiyey dabadeed ayaa abaar daran dhulkaas ka dhacday, wuuna bilaabay inuu baahdo. Goortaasuu tegey oo isku daray nin dadka dhulkaas ah, kan u diray beerihiisa inuu doofaarro daajiyo. Wuxuu damcay inuu calooshiisa ka buuxiyo buunshihii doofaarradu ay cunayeen, ninnana waxba ma uu siin. Goortuu isgartay ayuu yidhi, Intee baa kuwa aabbahay kiraystay haysata kibis ka badan in ku filan, aniguna macaluul baan halkan ugu bakhtiyayaa. Waan kici oo aan aabbahay u tegi, oo waxaan ku odhan, Aabbow, waxaan ku dembaabay jannada iyo hortaadaba. Kol dambe ma istaahilo in laygu yeedho wiilkaaga, ee iga dhig sida kuwa aad kiraysatay midkood oo kale. Markaasuu kacay, oo wuxuu u yimid aabbihii, laakiin intuu weli ka fogaa ayaa aabbihiis arkay, waana u naxariistay, oo ku soo orday oo qoortuu iskaga duubay, oo dhunkaday. Markaasaa wiilkii ku yidhi, Aabbow, waxaan ku dembaabay jannada iyo hortaadaba; kol dambe ma istaahilo in laygu yeedho wiilkaaga. Laakiin aabbihii ayaa addoommadiisii ku yidhi, Dhaqso u soo bixiya khamiiska ugu wanaagsan oo u geliya, kaatunna gacanta u geliya, kabona cagaha u geliya. Dibigii yaraa ee la shishleeyey keena oo gowraca, aynu cunno oo faraxno, waayo, wiilkaygan wuu dhintay, wuuna soo noolaaday; wuu lumay, waana la helay. Markaasay bilaabeen inay farxaan.“ – Luukos 15:13-24.
In the country of Kenya there was a husband and a wife who became Christians. They accepted and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They received forgiveness of sins and eternal life. One day their tribal leaders, from the Kikuyu tribe, came to them and asked them to make a promise that they would say and follow the Kikuyu oath. This oath said that they would fight anyone who tried to take away the land from the Kikuyu tribe. This oath would make them swear that the Kikuyu tribe was the only tribe that was allowed to be in the government in Kenya. This oath was a deal with the devil to kill and torture anyone who did not submit to the leadership of the Kikuyu tribe.
The Christian husband and wife said that they would not say the Kikuyu oath because of their faith in Jesus Christ. As Christians they believed that they were to live in peace with everyone, they were to forgive everyone who sinned against them, as Christians they were to feed and help anyone who was in need whether they were from the Kikuyu tribe or from any other tribe.
The Kikuyu tribal leaders were very angry and ordered that the Christian man and woman be punished. The husband was beaten so badly he died while he was being kicked, and punched and tortured. His wife survived even though she was badly hurt. The day came for the widow to now bury her husband and many people came to the funeral. Before the funeral started the woman spoke to the entire crowd and told them:
“Before my husband died he wanted me to tell you that he forgives all his murderers. My husband told me to tell you that he is going to heaven and his heart is full of love and forgiveness towards all who did wrong to him. He forgives everyone because Jesus Christ forgave him all of his sins. And I his widow tell all of you in the presence of my dead husband, that I hate none of you who killed him. I forgive all of you. I forgive you because I know that Jesus Christ die for me and Jesus Christ also died for you. If you believe in Jesus Christ you also will have your sins forgiven and receive eternal life.”
This is real forgiveness and real love.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15.
“Waayo, haddaad dadka u cafidaan xumaantooda, Aabbihiinna jannada ku jira ayaa idin cafiyi doona. Laakiin haddaanad dadka cafiyin, Aabbihiinnu xumaantiinna idiin cafiyi maayo.” – Matayos 6:14-15.
As a Christian we are called to forgive other people when they have sinned against us: and many, many people have sinned against us. So we need to forgive everyone we know. We need to forgive our brothers and sisters, and parents, and especially those from different clans and tribes with whom our tribe has been at war with for many, many years.
The only true way to peace is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. To be filled with His Spirit and His peace. To love others as the Father in heaven loves us. Our Father in heaven forgives us all of our sins and keeps providing for our needs. Even though we have sinned against our Father He still cares for us and provides for us. We should do the same.