I was born and raised in a Christian family back in Brunei and went to church every week. Although I called myself a Christian, my attitude and actions did not show it. On the outside, I was just like every other person. As a young child, I was boastful and judgemental. I harboured unforgiveness strongly, remembering the wrongs people had committed against me, and kept grudges.

Even though I learnt that God forgives our sins and therefore we should forgive others, I never really did the same. The things I had discovered in my church were head-knowledge that I did not take to heart. The unforgiveness in my heart began to build up. I remember a quote that goes, “Harbouring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Indeed that was what was happening to me.

I came to Australia in 2013 for my undergraduate studies and attended Hope Ipswich during the three years of my undergraduate studies. During that time, away from what I was used to, I began to seek God for myself and truly experience him.

One day, my closest friend told me something that hurt me very deeply. I thought about it over and over again, and the more I thought about it, the more it bothered me. I did not want to forgive her because of what she did. In the midst of my heartache, I went to God and asked him why this happened, at the same time feeling sorry for myself. Then God said to me, “I sent Jesus to die for your sins, and I forgave all of them. Why can’t you forgive that one thing your friend did to you?” All of a sudden, the pity I felt for myself paled in comparison to what Jesus did on the cross. God reminded me of the story of the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. I repented immediately and knew that I needed to let go of all the grudges I held for many years.

Of course, forgiveness did not come easily for me at first, but knowing that God has forgiven me – how can I not extend this forgiveness to others in my life? Although they were minor offenses, this was a major turning point for me. Although this is still a work in progress, I find it much easier to forgive and move on. I am genuinely thankful for what God has done in my life and I am constantly humbled by what God is showing me about my life and about the things around me. It is amazing how God begins to reveal to us areas of our lives that can be changed if we are willing to humbly accept these. Let us desire to become more like Jesus as we grow in our walk with God.

Alisa Lau
Master of Dietetics Studies
Uni-Generation UQ6, Hope St Lucia