No apology

Hearing ‘I’m sorry’, ‘I messed up’, ‘I feel terrible for what I did’ is like music to our ears. It feels good when someone acknowledges their wrongdoing towards you and oftentimes it makes it much easier to forgive them right?

But what if they never apologise. I mean, the reality is that some people will never apologise for their wrongs towards you and waiting on them to apologise before you forgive, will cost you your mental freedom. This is why we must…

Learn to forgive even without an apology.

This F-word is constantly thrown around in church, fellowship, Christian conversations, and blogs, but you will be surprised at how many Christians find this word offensive. It doesn’t make sense to forgive those who have no remorse. It defies our childlike understanding of basic manners – the staple of every conversation, yes, no, thank you, please and sorry.

Only people who are really striving to look and live more like God’s word concerning forgiveness are able to rise to the challenge of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a fleshly activity, it is spiritual, but  we often forgive expecting a fleshly response and so we become disheartened because the act of forgiving someone has not appeased our flesh.

As Christians, one of the core elements of our relationship with God is forgiveness. We would have no relationship with God if He did not reach out and forgive us, even in our sin. We would not have a relationship with Him, if Christ – God the Son, chose to wait for an apology from us before dying for our sins on the cross. God did not wait for an apology before forgiving us. ‘While we were STILL SINNERS, Christ died for us’ (Romans 5:8). The Lord’s Prayer includes,  ‘Forgive us our trespasses AS WE (present continuous) forgive those that have trespassed against us’ …not those who have apologised to us.

Forgiveness is a weighty yet necessary call. It is the sign of a mature Christian. It is the sign of a Christian who truly understands what it means to forgive and is able to extend that same grace to others.

Forgiveness is hard when you try and do it out of your flesh. Forgiveness is easy when you do it out of God’s mercy.

Forgiveness is hard when you expect an apology. Forgiveness is easy when you extend grace.

Forgiveness 1Forgiveness does not excuse the offending behaviour. Forgiveness excuses the offender. The fact that God forgives us of sin, does not make sinning okay. The fact that we forgive someone of their sin towards us, does not make the sin okay. When we forgive, we are saying to that person, you are bigger and better than what you did against me. I choose to see you over the sin. In the same way, God’s forgiveness reaffirms our true new identity in Him. He sees us and not the sin.

I’ve wrestled with the F-word on many occasions and will certainly have moments where I crave an apology, but my resolve is to forgive, even without an apology. Will you do the same?

Thank you for reading! Its the summer holidays which hopefully means more blog posts. Thank you for your support – I hope you were blessed by this, as it has been in my drafts for a minute lol! With love, K x

Forgiveness

4 thoughts on “No apology

  1. Mae says:

    Hello, Dr. Kanyo
    I love your writings!!!! My question with the act of forgiveness is does God forgive everyone? The only reason why I am asking is because and friend and I had a debate.
    When Judas betrayed Jesus, he was not forgiven but put to death.
    The city of Sodom and Gomorah were not forgiven but put to death
    In Acts Annias and his wife were not forgiven they were put to death
    In the above examples that I gave forgiveness was not bestowed to these people. Therefore, is it possible that one cannot forgive a person but show them mercy and grace? Is it possible that the offended person can still operate in life with unforgiveness towards the offender and still have joy and peace because he/she has chosen to operate under the doctrine of grace and mercy?

    The offended person may not have forgiven the person but because they operate under the doctrine of mercy and grace towards the person, they can display genuine acts of kindness and love towards their offender.

    Just curious . Thanks for allowing me to ask questions and have a healthy dialogue amongst my Christian family

    • Kanayo Dike-Oduah says:

      Hi Mae,

      Thank you for your question. I can see where you are coming from. I’ll try my best to answer it biblically, though I will also advise that you ask senior leaders and perhaps consult some bible commmentaries. Ultimately we serve a just and sovereign God. The wages of sin is indeed death for all – whether forgiven and unforgiven.

      Arguably, Mercy, grace and forgiveness are not mutually exclusive. I don’t believe you can have one without the other.

      In the case of Ananias and S. The wage of sin — being death was immediate, for most of us, the wage of sin (death) is later on in life. It does not mean that we are not forgiven, it is just part of God’s principle that the soul that sins will die, but those who die forgiven, with repentant hearts do not die a final death. They die to be raised with Christ when He returns.

      All Christians are called to forgive, based on the Lord’s Prayer in Matt 5. There is no allowance of unforgiveness – in fact we are charged to love our offenders/persecutors. Again, I strongly posit that unforgiveness and Mercy and grace are worlds apart. You cannot be graceful and unforgiving – it is illogical. The doctrine of grace and Mercy cannot exclude forgiveness.

      Definitely have a go at checking out bible commentaries for greater depth.

      K x

    • Dapsy_1 says:

      Hi Mea, In addition to answer to your question “does God forgive everyone? Yes, God forgive everyone as recorded in John 3:16 – for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Although, Roman 6:23a says: for the wages of sin is death – however there are exceptions to the rule because of God’s mercy and grace. It’s true that Judas betrayed Jesus and he wasn’t forgiven – why? Judas wasn’t forgiven because he never asked God for forgiveness and the bible recorded that he committed suicide because when he realised the consequence of what he has done but doubted if God will forgive him. Peter the disciple of God also denied Jesus three times but received God’s mercy and grace because he acknowledged his sins and asked God for forgiveness.

      The story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. The sin Ananias and Sapphira committed was not stinginess or holding back part of the money that the land was sold but they both conspired to lie to God and trying to deceive God’s people. This act was judged harshly because of their dishonesty, covetousness and trying to outsmart the Holy Spirit from working effectively. Also note, the sin against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven.

      As Dr Kanayo mentioned in her reply that “as a Christian, there’s no allowance for unforgiveness”. Matthew 6:14-15 clearly states that “if you forgive others of their sin, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you and vice verse”. God is no respecter of anyone. Therefore, if the offended person (he/she) has chosen to operate under the doctrine of grace and mercy without genuinely forgiving the offender – he/she is only harming his or herself.. Unforgiveness is an evil spirit that destroy someone gradually and also hinders your communication with God. Secondly, it sow the evil seed of hatred into you and if it’s not prevented immediately – it will totally affect your relationship with God. Lastly, unforgiveness makes you to break the edge of God’s protection around you and gives room for the enemies to attack you as stated in John 10:10. I prayed that God will give us the grace to forgive irrespective of the situation we find ourselves.

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