What is forgiveness? Forgiveness is to allow the other person not to be God. Forgiveness says, “ I know you love me, but you don’t have to love me unconditionally, because no human being can. “
I remember the many times people lamented to me about how they had tolerated a particular person for the longest of time and they could not deal with his or her practices anymore. Indeed, every single day of our lives, we need to make the effort to forgive others for their unintentional or intentional hurt they have inflicted onto us.
We are all wounded. We are all filled with brokenness and it is precisely this feeling of inadequacy that lurks behind our constant drive to portray ourselves as successful. It is so important that we keep forgiving each other, not once in a while, but every single moment of our lives because we do not know the battles everyone is facing behind all the smiles.
During this season of lent, we are encouraged to grow deeper in our relationship with God not only through prayer and fasting, but also through almsgiving. Archbishop William Goh shares that “Giving must be in the fullest sense of the term, beyond material needs, to humble and selfless service to those who need our help, care for the poor and the marginalised, the sick and the lonely, and most of all, through forgiveness of our enemies and those who have hurt us. St Peter said, ‘Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.’ ”(1 Pt 4:8-10)
It is inevitable that in a community with many people, whether is it at work, at school or even at church, there will always be differences and conflicts that arise. This is what we are challenged to do: that whenever someone steps on our toes, we may be able to forgive by the grace of the Lord and offer this person up during prayer. It is only by forgiving and loving that we can let grace multiply in a community and prevent sins from multiplying.
By Rebecca Tan