When we were growing up, we had a Newsboys tape. It was their 1996 album, Take Me To YourLeader. That tape was my first exposure to rock music, and it was a constant cause of tension between my brother, Tonnie and I. You see, I fell in love with rock music, just listening to that one tape. But he never understood that that was even called music. So I would find him playing another tape, and I would feel like listening to rock music. Out went his tape. In went Newsboys. And soon we would be fighting.
However, there were a few times I would find the cassette player free, like when he was out playing or very early in the morning before he woke up. That’s when I would play my Newsboys tape undisturbed. Soon I would be playing the sixth track, titled Let It Go.
As you can imagine, after listening to that song, I would automatically forgive my brother and forget all about the fights and the bullying. I call it bullying because whenever we fought, he always beat me. I would always be the one to run to Mummy. Let It Go was the first Newsboys song I learnt. I sang it every time. Soon, it started making a lot of sense to me. And whenever I felt like not forgiving someone, I would remember the words
Beneath the cross you hear his words
“Father forgive them,” and you know
You don’t understand it let it go.
I would think of how much Christ forgave me when he died on the cross, and I would easily forgive.
This song came to my mind recently as I was thinking about a testimony I read on my Church’s Facebook Group Wall by KalungiImmaculate. It was a magnificent story on forgiveness. It touched my heart. So I thought I would share with you something about forgiveness.
Will you forgive? It doesn’t matter how badly you’ve been hurt, or whether it’s too small an offense. I learnt from Immaculate’s testimony that walking around with a grudge or hatred can poison your soul and steal your joy. However badly you’ve been hurt, it’s not worth the pain of bitterness.
Please listen to the Newsboys’ song, Let It Go, and choose to let go of all the hurt and pain you’ve ever experienced. It may not be easy, but who said we only do what’s easy? You may not feel like doing it, but when you become overweight, you’ll have to take up regular exercise even when you don’t feel like it.
I have lived a pretty good life, and somehow feel unqualified to talk about forgiving and letting go, since I have never been hurt so bad. The worst I’ve ever been hurt was when my girlfriend walked out on me without giving an explanation. Ok, she gave an explanation. One that I never understood. She said that she had stopped loving me. What had I done? Nothing!
I guess I forgive her whenever I think about her.
One day, Jesus got treated to a rare foot massage. His feet were massaged with tears and a prostitute’s hair. Then they were doused with expensive perfume. His host started complaining. Jesus replied him by telling him a story of two servants who had outstanding debts with their master. One’s debt was extremely high, while the other one was simply too lazy to pay up the few cents he was owed. Their master forgave them both.
“Who of the two loved the master more,” Jesus asked in conclusion.
“The one that was forgiven the bigger debt,” his host replied.
That was when Jesus dropped a bomb: “"Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn't quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn't it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal." (Luke 7:44-47, The Message)
You may hear me or some other person talk so much about the importance of forgiveness, but if you haven’t received forgiveness yourself, you won’t be able to extend that same forgiveness to another person. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8, NKJV)
If you haven’t received this free gift of forgiveness, where you know that God has forgiven you of all your sins, that is, the sins you’ve ever committed, the ones you are committing right now, and the ones you will ever commit, then you can’t extend that same gift to someone else.
So, are you struggling with forgiving someone? Why don’t you start by receiving God’s forgiveness? Then go ahead and forgive yourself and all that have hurt you. Let God heal you as you let go.
Please don’t wait for an apology in a bottle. Give freely, because you have freely received.
Is there a time when you struggled with letting someone go? How did you go about it?
PS: Forgive my excuse for a video. that's what i found on youtube.... maybe i didn't search long enough. but at least you can hear the words.