LAST week we talked about three habits that are poisonous to relationships.
Today I would like us consider yet another attitude that is probably the major cause for many afflictions in relationships world over.
Unforgiveness or rather the unwillingness to forgive is the major source of pain in many relationships. If you would look into history you will find out that unforgiveness is at the foundation of many tribal wars, national conflicts, clan conflicts, divorces, murders, suicides and many more. The world wars were also bred on the altar of unforgiveness. It is the whetstone for a desire to revenge and be even and yet its consequences are beyond imagination.
I know how hard it is to forgive some wrongs, but in all honest, we are all capable of forgiving.
This is how we are created by God. Our challenge is that we chose not to and make a lot of justifications. Even though your feelings are justified, do not let your gut motivate your responses.
It is prudent to pay back evil with good. When you are wronged, intense emotions speak to you, but in that moment there is another softer voice also speaking to you about letting it go.
This is the voice many of us ignore and yet it is the most powerful. Human life becomes victorious when we can extend mercy and kindness even in times of provocation.
Unforgiveness suggests to you that people deserve to be punished. It says before you forgive you must punish and be even.
This is contrary to the nature of love. Love will forgive and seek no justification. It strives on your anger and if you are unable to turn over your anger to God, you will always mess yourself up.
Unforgiveness works against you. Forgiveness is for your sake and not the other person. You are the biggest loser when you walk in unforgiveness.
You are the biggest beneficiary when you forgive. So it us all about you. To forgive is a choice and not to forgive is also a choice.
This is a choice influenced by love. If you really love the person, you will forgive them. Love seeks the interest of the other person first. In a marriage relationship, forgiveness should be the cornerstone of building the relationship. You should always be ready to forgive and not condemn. The reason why many divorce is because they think they cannot forgive. This is a deception.
If you were to study reasons given for divorces around the world, you will agree with me that we are failing to utilise the most powerful mechanism God has given us as people, to forgive. Any wrong can be forgiven. You can forgive adultery, murder, lack of intimacy, etc. Forgiveness overcomes all forces of evil working against your relationship.
Unforgiveness is a destructive attitude and spirit whose mission is to destroy. Great evil has been committed against others because of unforgiveness.
Families lie destroyed, lives cut short, businesses and nations blundered by this spirit. The chaos in the world today can be traced to the spirit of unforgiveness.
It is the breeding ground for inhuman anger, pride, vengeance and grudges that never end. I mean, open your eyes and see this all around you; the desire to get even.
The desire to fix the other person, the desire to punish and cause them feel the same pain and many more, these are what drive this spirit in our communities. You see, humanity has been caught up in this trap for centuries now.
Leadership all over the sectors of society seems like it is perpetuating of this cancer. Some people would work their way to leadership just to revenge and punish. This is a destructive attitude.
Our problems as a people are largely due to this attitude to fix one another.
This spirit turns people against each other, wife against husband, son against father, mother against daughter, families against each other, nations against each other and muchmore.
As I said before, this is about choices. But if you would like to maintain your relationship and enjoy it, chose to forgive.
I have heard people say: I will forgive but not forget. Well, this is like you have not started. Forgiving includes forgetting. If you are not forgetting you are keeping a grudge.
The Bible teaches that when God forgives you your sins, He separates them from you as far as the east is to the west. They will never meet. He forgets them and is never on your account.
This is expected of you also. Forgive and let go. This is the beauty of love and life. Beloved, to build that relationship, you must be ready to forgive because unforgiveness is costly.
Kilton Moyo is a pastor, guidance and counselling consultant and author of Responding to Personal Crisis. Call or WhatsApp on +263 775 337 207/ 712 384 841.