The Key of Forgiveness

Have you ever wondered why forgiveness is hard?

Some people claim they can forgive easily. But will still be willing to remind everyone what a person did wrong in the past. I don’t think that’s forgiveness.

Before I tell you what I think real forgiveness means, allow me to explain how I got this topic into the thought-train of my mind.

My church did a Passover Feast meeting yesterday. We’re not Jewish, but we were remembering and experiencing how Jesus did it and learning the significance of what they did in their culture. And as we were taking communion, I was being thankful of how Jesus suffered and bore my sins, when I thought, ‘Hey, it wasn’t fair for Jesus at all.’ I knew things weren’t fair in life, but Jesus had to suffer most unfairly. If we died, even if we were seen as a ‘holy’ man, we’d still have come from a sinful background, and dying earlier than expected just means we died earlier than expected. We’ve all sinned. We would all have to suffer death anyway. We deserved it, maybe not tragic horrible sudden death, but we deserve death at the end. But Jesus, no. He’s perfect, He has overcame sin, and did outstanding work for the Father on His short time on earth. So it was the MOST unfair for Him to die in MY place. To suffer tragically for my sins, my wrongs, my mistakes.

But God sent Jesus as an action of His forgiveness to us. He GAVE us Jesus. It is unfair because He gave without needing or forcing us to give back. There was no exchange. Our Father HOPES that we give our lives back to Him, but He doesn’t FORCE us. He loves us that much.

So what is the key word in forgiveness? GIVE. For He GAVE. God FORGAVE. When we ask anyone for forgiveness, we are asking them to Give off themselves for us. There are a lot of things we may be giving of ourselves when we forgive. Think about it. We could be writing off a debt: We’re basically giving our money away. We could be forgiving a mean word: We’re basically giving him good report for the bad report he deserves. It could be a sacrifice of our pride, position, time, thoughts, joy, sometimes even what we believe in, and you may even hate someone but choose to change your mindset and decide to love him instead. That sounds quite preposterous. But IT IS. Sacrificing for an undeserved. That’s why forgiving is hard. In this world where fairness is fought for, we forgiveness can be quite hard to understand or accept. Giving without receiving. Forgiveness has to be FREELY Given to count.

He gave us life, breath, abilities, people, safety, took care of the details of our life. WE owe God. But we offended Him. We foolishly, knowingly, willingly, continuously sin against Him. YET God Forgave us. A clean slate. A passage to heaven. A direct audience with the Holy King at any time. These are all ours without demanding anything in return. These are all ours IF we choose to accept it. He GAVE us these when we deserved nothing.

Ephesians 4:32

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


Can we find it in our being to forgive people around us?

Romans 12 Part 1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 1:1

Romans 12 has always been a special chapter for me. Mostly because it houses a few of my all time favourite verses. Here’s what I think of the first verse.


Beseech is like a pleading. Imploring. An urgent and deep request.

Mercies of God

‘By the mercies of God’. For me this is like saying ‘according to how much God has allowed you to be blessed to’ or ‘to endure’ or ‘to give’.

Living Sacrifice

Here’s a typical war movie scene. A small team of good guys are being chased by an army of baddies with big guns. One of the good guys get injured and says ‘don’t bring me along, I’ll only be a burden. Leave me here. I’ll slow them down’. After the emotional scene, the good guys leave and turn the corner just in time as the bad guys turn up. They have a shoot out with this hero. But the hero gets killed. And as the baddies rush past the hero’s dead body to catch up with the good guys, the hero unclenches his fist with a grenade in his hand. It explodes and kills off even more of the baddies.

This hero is the sacrifice. He sacrificed himself. But he had to die. A death sacrifice.

A living sacrifice actually sounds like an oxymoron. Yet, I think it makes sense. Because God deserves more than just a death sacrifice. A death sacrifice is easy. You just feel for the people you leave behind – for a short moment – then it’s all gone.

A living sacrifice demands more out of us. Our life involves a lot more than our death. In life there is growth. There is learning. There are responsibilities. There are people. There’s time. There are wants and desires. There’s love. There’s abilities and skills. There’s health. There’s emotion. There are worries and fears. There are beliefs and ideas. There’s personality. There’s wealth and material things. There’s hope. Well, that’s a lot to constantly let go of.

How do we then become a living sacrifice? For me, it’s to be constantly aware of what we do. And to constantly decide to obey God. Now that is what I call difficult.

Imagine your time, your relationships, your priorities, your energy, your skills, your personality, your actions, your thoughts, all spent on someone else. It’s almost like when you have a girlfriend or a baby. Your whole life will be devoted to this person that you love. Except, for God, it’s more complete. Our whole life is required. Everything? Everything. Now that’s tough.

Then, if devoted properly, if what we decide and do is what God desires, we will be holy. Holy just means right before God’s eyes. Clean. Sin is the opposite which means wrong before God’s eyes. When we are holy, it will be acceptable to God.

Reasonable Service

In Greek, the word ‘reasonable’ is ‘logikos’. As in Rational or Logical. Being a living sacrifice is the logical thing to do. After what Jesus has done, after knowing who God is, knowing what an amazing life and path He has set us on right now, and knowing that His love for us is the reason for everything, it will be irrational and illogical to not give your whole life and being as a sacrifice to God! It will be irrational and illogical not to love God!

If you’re asking ‘So who is God?’ and ‘What kind of path did He set us on now?’, you’re asking the right question. The bible is filled to the brim with God’s character and God’s promises and God’s plan for us. And also very importantly, who we are to God. So start reading the bible now! If you need help, drop me a message or just comment below.

So these are thoughts I have when I read this verse. That’s all for now.


Lovers Are Losers

I Corinthians 13:1-7,13

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I hope some of you are going “Huh? What?” to those verses up there. That’s probably because of the Old English from the King James Version of the bible. This is a famous chapter about Love.

Lots and lots of marriage ceremonies use these words. But wait a minute. You don’t see the word ‘Love’ even once? Shame on you.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with “Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy. Love does not brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, does not seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” So on and so forth. That sounds really good. Righteous, even. But for me, in context of how we use the word ‘LOVE’ today, people don’t get the gravity of what those words actually say.

These days, we use ‘love’ to explain a lovey dovey happy feeling inside that is an outcome rather than a cause. An Outcome!? A Feeling!? Shame on you again. People (old people especially) that have been through tough times know that love is not backing out of a relationship even when outcome or feeling says differently. It could be any love relationship; spouse, family, friends, car, house, or even for your country. It means Choosing and Standing Firm. Choice is not an outcome, choice happens right at the beginning before any action or word can even start.

But I’m sure you’re still wondering, why did I share that verse in King James Version? I’m sure you can see, the difference is the word Charity. Have you ever heard that ‘God Is Charity’? No? Me neither.

Think about this, as I said earlier, these days love is a feeling. Charity, however, is action, not a feeling. These days charity means giving to the poor. It also means losing something for someone else. A LOSS! The moment we hear the word charity, we cringe inside. Why? Because it is in our culture to ‘look out for number one’, me. Ouch. We’re just more used to saying “I’m already running low this month” rather than “I can skip one lunch so that you can have one”.

Think about this. In your mind, I’m sure you have two very different definitions of Love and Charity. List them down. Could be feeling, action, point of view, outcome, choice, giving, how much of giving, when, who, what, how low one stoops, how much patience needed, yada yada yada… I dunno how you want to compare those two words. Anyway! Now comparatively, answer me this “God is -”?

Some of you can say that charity is a quality that comes out of love and all that, which is totally true. But people like the word love and not the word charity! You know, I do see God more as an actions kind of guy.  Not only that, He can be angry, sad, happy, proud, or ashamed of me, but He will still work miracles around me and through me. He still makes sure I’m well and healthy and clothes me and feeds me and allows me to have friends and family. Even when He knows I’m disobeying Him, or when I’m an idiot, or when I’m even trying to run away from Him. What is that? Is that a strong feeling towards me? Or a choice: That I’m His son no matter what.

This is a good reminder for me that love is not a feeling but an action. And it’s not even an action based on an outcome. Love is just an action because of choice: A responsibility. An oath. A sacrifice. A LOSS! A devotion. A hope. Despite everything or anything that has happened or might happen. Wow. “I love you” is now “I choose you” and not “I feel for you,” or “I prefer you the most”. A union in marriage with this kind of love sounds very powerful to me. Same as in family and in friendship.

If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 

Love is patient and is kind; love does not envy. Love does not brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, does not seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… But now faith, hope, and love remain-these three. The greatest of these is love.

That sounds pretty different now doesn’t it?


I’ve always thought myself as a compassionate person. I have a heart easily broken when I get to know people and find out what they’re struggling with. My natural instinct is to ask, what can I do? Every time I’ve gone to the villages of interior Sabah, my heart breaks. My view of life changes. I imagine what I can do to help. I pray for them when I remember them. I am a compassionate guy.

Or so I thought. Psalm 35: 13 gives a glimpse of how much David cared for his friends. But when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fastings; and my prayer returned into my own bosom. This reminds me of all the times I have forgotten to pray for a friend who asked me to remember him/her in prayer. Because David changed his life to mourning to mourn for his friends. I don’t change my life just for a friend. Even when I’m heartbroken, I do not open my wallet and give money. ‘Logic’ overtakes me. Or, I just don’t have that love that we can see David has. Compassion is a trait birthed from love.

Compassion is not a feeling when you wanna cry for someone. Compassion is not imagining yourself in someones shoes. Compassion is a sorrow birthed from love.

God felt this compassion for you. For me. The helpless state we were born in, and delved in deeper as we lived. The trap. The pit. The hopelessness. There’s nothing we can do to free ourselves. God had compassion because He loves us. He WANTS to save us from that pit. With true love and true compassion comes action. Even the most difficult action is worth it. Because that is love. Because that is compassion. Because that is God.

He loves me

He loves you. He saved you.