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For some time now, I haven’t been a fan of holidays. However, I usually take a moment to reflect on what is being celebrated and how it affects our daily lives. Easter to me in my incipient age was about tons and tons of chocolate packaged in colourful boxes decorated with dancing bunnies, grass and blue skies. Over the years – growing up in the church – I have learnt about God, Jesus and the cross. An overwhelming feeling befell me when I realized that one man was sent to the planet earth just to die for the sins of humanity. The over-arching theme that has always remained with me is this; there should be nothing that cannot be forgiven. On this premise, I have compiled 4 ways that forgiveness can/will change your life: 1. It makes you humble: Easter has taught me that forgiveness has no end. It has also challenged me to learn to open my heart and forgive, no matter the offence. In reality, it can be difficult – considering that pain isn’t something that heals overnight. However, if we can endeavour to always remember that we have also hurt people, we will become humble enough to forgive all offences. 2. It makes you more understanding: Misunderstandings are usually one of the primary causes of offences between people. If we can learn to understand one another better, we will be more willing to forgive. I have trained myself to ask myself right after someone offends me; “what could have caused this person to behave this way, and what are they thinking?” Doing this will help you to understand people better and realize that sometimes, offence isn’t intentional; it is just caused by a difference in understanding. 3. It makes you lighter: Every conscious human being has felt the feeling of heaviness that comes from unforgiveness and bitterness. We can all agree that it is not pleasant! Nothing creates a heap of bricks on your shoulders like holding on to past offences. Life has enough stress and worries, why add more when you can leave it behind you? Let it go! How? Just remember that people will continue to offend you until you die, so how will you carry such a burden forever? 4. It liberates you: I honestly believe that all we constantly seek for throughout our lifetime is liberty. We will do everything possible to break free from the things we feel hold us captive yet someone made a sacrifice so we can understand true liberty; that to me is the true essence of Easter. In order to be liberated, you must forgive and learn to keep your eyes focused on the path ahead.   I hope this season will enable you to make amends with those who have offended you, as well as those you have offended. Yes, some situations may seem irresolvable but remember you are loved, you are forgiven and you are free.  

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This article was first published on 2nd April 2015

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