Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violets shed on the heel that has crushed it, as said by Mark Twain. It is never easy to forget. The pain of yesterday and its wound does not heal in seconds, and the gravity of the mistake can tear one person’s trust. However, forgiveness is a must to achieve peace of mind and calmness of the heart.
The Bible is a good place to be inspired by stories of forgiveness. In this article, we’ll discover some of the greatest stories of mercy and love that illuminated each character to the path of forgiveness. It’ doesn’t matter what religion we follow; forgiveness is taught in all faith. However, the Bible goes more in-depth and has many examples of ‘forgiveness’ offered to people who least deserved.
Esau and Jacob
Appearing in Genesis 25, 27, 32, 33, the Bible’s twins of Jacob and Esau turned out different from each other. Esau is a man’s man. He thrived in outdoor activities like hunting and tending the flock. On the other hand, Jacob is more of a homebody. He prefers working at chores inside the house and learning things from their mother. Esau is the older of the twins.
After a tiring day at the fields, Esau came home with an overwhelming hunger. Esau begged Jacob to give him something that’ll ease his hunger. Jacob cooked a bowl of soup and before giving it to Esau, asked for his birthright in exchange of lentil stew. Since Esau is the older twin, it is assumed that when inheritance is divided, he’ll obtain the larger portion of it. However, Esau did not care for his share and wants to eat immediately.
By the time their father was blind and dying, Rebeccah, Jacob, and Esau’s mother heard that their father is about to give his blessing to Esau. With this in mind, Jacob and Rebeccah devised a plan that would make Esau lose his inheritance. In an unfortunate turn of events, their father was deceived, leaving Esau with nothing. Esau fled and hid for a few years. After some time, he came back to hug his twin Jacob and forgive him for everything that he has done.
Joseph is the 11th son born from Jacob. At a tender age, Joseph was enlightened with God’s plans that made his brothers envious of him. His brothers’ jealousy made him a victim of a deceitful plot. Jacob was heartbroken when the brothers told him that his favorite son, Joseph, was feasted by a wild animal. The truth is, Joseph was sold as a slave, but his honesty made him desirable and trusted. The man who bought him gave him freedom but, in a tragic turn of events, Joseph was wrongfully accused of a crime. During his time in prison, he won the favor and the integrity of the jail keepers. As he proved to be trustworthy, he was tasked to watch over other prisoners. In God’s perfect time, he was elevated into power and fulfilled his role as a leader.
As the brothers initially thought that Joseph was dead, they trembled in fear as the man who’s standing in front of them was the younger brother that they betrayed. Joseph revealed himself and was later reunited with his family. Although the brothers feared Joseph and his presumed plans of retribution, they were spared with Joseph’s loyalty, love, and forgiveness.
The Prodigal Son
Like any teenager with a childish whim of fortune and a broken sense of freedom, the prodigal son couldn’t wait to live a life on his own. There would be no rules, no curfews, and no one to obey but himself. When he seemed capable, he asked the portion of his inheritance from his father and set off to land to enjoy the freedom he wanted in life. He wasted his time for unproductive pleasure and is being teased with worldly possessions and temptations. He lived the high life with no worries at hand.
As his financial resources depleted, he found himself with no means of feeding himself, with no job, no family, and no friends. Desperation got the better of him, and he took in the job of a pig caretaker. He was beyond willing to eat pig feeds so that he can ease the hunger he’s feeling. Since he pretty much had nothing left in his pocket, he decided to come back home and work as a servant. In this way, he can go back to his father and work for the meal he’ll eat.
Little did he know that his father was waiting for his arrival. eAs soon as his father witnessed his shadow upon the hill, his father ran up to him with welcoming and loving arms. He was welcomed with forgiveness and is accepted once again, into the family.
The Adulterous Woman
During Jesus’ time in the world as the Son of God, he was presented with a woman hated by society. She was caught in the middle of an adulterous act and was in front of Him for judgment. The people would like to test if what Jesus says is true, that he is the son of God by following His law. Women having been caught committing adultery should be stoned as mandated by the law.
However, Jesus proved to be the Lord of forgiveness and mercy when he told the people to start throwing their stones if they feel like they have committed no sin and that they do not deserve to be thrown with stones. People, one by one, dropped their stones and walked away from Jesus and the condemned woman. As Jesus saw that there’s no one left to accuse the woman, he asked her if she sees anyone else that condemns her of her sin. When the woman said that there’s no one left, Jesus stood to say, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.”