By Tai Ikomi
1. Forgive quickly to avoid forgetting
People often ask if it is possible to forgive and forget. In this case, the opposite becomes reality. We can indeed forget without forgiving, which is a much more serious problem. Perhaps someone behaved snobbishly towards us a year ago, but we did not deal with it or we felt it was not really that important. Unfortunately, before we knew it, the offense had become embedded in our heart.
Maybe we did not want to deal with the pain or the humiliation, and we put it out of our mind. When we see him again, we find ourselves unable to connect with him without really knowing why.
To avoid forgetting without forgiving, we resolve to forgive almost as soon as we are offended. We deal with these situations by relying on God’s grace and putting them safely behind us.
2. Forgive as quickly as possible in honor of God and His Word
Another reason to forgive is because it is the commandment of God. We do not wait long to forgive because it is our duty and our joy to carry out God’s commandment. Delayed action or procrastination of obedience to God may constitute disobedience. God says He will honor people who tremble before Him and are eager to carry out His word.
Delayed anger may actually be unforgiveness and the longer we stay in it the more likelihood we may not want to obey especially when the offense is repeated or the offender does not show remorse. God is pleased when forgive quickly because we want to honor Him.
For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word (Isaiah 66:2).
3. Forgive quickly to avoid eruption of past hurts
Unfortunately, our emotions suffer when we do not forgive. Our emotions continue to pay for our inability to forgive. Many offenses pile up in our hearts, including the ones we have forgotten.
The interesting thing is that we may not even know we are hurting. We may think we are fine because we are used to existing in this unhealthy emotional state.
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever (Isaiah 32:17).
4. Forgive quickly to prevent undesirable social issues
Forgiving quickly curbs the need to retaliate or display other signs of unforgiveness. Our Lord Jesus saw rancor brewing among His disciples after the mother of James and John came to Jesus and requested that her two sons have two seats on His right and left hand sides in His glory. The ten disciples displayed their annoyance in some way or another.
Jesus Christ quickly nipped this reaction in the bud by addressing it. They were to curb their anger.
And when the ten heard [it], they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them [to him], and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them (Mark 10:41.42).
5. Forgive Quickly to Avoid the Need for Retaliation
Unless we release and forgive the one who hurt us, the tendency is to want to hurt them as well. Perhaps your friend just called to tell you she would not be able to help you as promised. Preempt the development of a grudge by forgiving her quickly. You may think the offense is so insignificant that it will not bother you, but that is not always true.
The evidence could very well show up the following day when you react to her presence in a different way, often a sign you have not forgiving her. Or you may find yourself hatching a plan to retaliate in small ways. Forgiving quickly by canceling her debt enables you to avoid the negative symptoms of an unforgiving heart at a later time. (1 Peter 3:9)
To recap, forgiving quickly will spare us from hurt and deeply embedded pain. When we learn the art of dealing with the offense quickly, we will be happier for it. God’s commandments with regards to forgiveness are not harmful; they are good for us. They lead us to a life of joy, peace, and freedom.
Dr. Tai Ikomi lost her husband and three children to a drunk driver in Missouri. She preaches and conducts seminars on forgiveness as the ground for our own forgiveness and emotional and mental healing. She has written over 34 books.
Dr. Tai Ikomi
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>