Home Features Dealing with vindictive spirit in “Offences and Forgiveness”  
offences and forgiveness

Dealing with vindictive spirit in “Offences and Forgiveness”  

by Church Times

A book based on the story of a Christian sister who died and was sent back to earth because of her unwillingness to forgive others

 By Stephen Esabu




Offences and Forgiveness, a new book by a Christian journalist, Chika Abanobi, is one book that should be in the hands of every person.

This is because in the 112-page book published by Mainstream Publishing Media, Lagos, the author not only captures forgiveness, one of the revered doctrines taught in the Christian faith, but also approaches the subject matter from various angles.

He explored the subject from both the personal and corporate perspective. For instance,  he looked at forgiveness between the church and its members, between the church and its pastor, and also between the people and their leaders in the larger society.

 In Offences and Forgiveness,  Abanobi points out why forgiveness is key and compulsory in the now and hereafter.

 The book opens with the story of a Christian lady who died but came back to life with a testimonial of how she was barred from entering heaven because she failed to forgive an offender.

The author, throughout the pages of the book, helps readers to appreciate the theme of forgiveness as taught by the Lord by drawing instances from both the biblical texts and contemporary stories, to drive home his point. These stories are bound to convince the readers that they have no other choice in human relationships than to forgive offenses done to them.

An enduring message

 His message on forgiveness looks like a string strewn from the first page of the book to the last. It emphasizes why victims need to overcome, and overcome very fast, for their good, lingering feelings of betrayal, disappointment, and hurt that make it difficult to forgive offenders.

 The author urges his readers who take offence at every twist and turn to be broad-minded enough to accommodate offenses that could emanate from anyone or anywhere in the form of remarks made ill-advisedly by a close friend or random criticisms on social media or other sources.

Moreover, the author underscores the health implication of refusing to forgive offenders when he wrote: “By withholding forgiveness, some people think they are hurting others when in reality they are hurting themselves.”  

 He likens harbouring offenses to “swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.” So unforgiving Christians who are in the habit of harbouring hurts from offenses done to them need to think again and again.

 Not for granted

However, Abanobi is not unaware of the fact that some readers could misconstrue the teaching of forgiveness. Hence he draws a line: “I believe that forgiveness, in some cases, should not be automatic lest some offenders take it for granted. The purpose actually must be to make someone better. …If forgiveness is not going to do that, then there is no need to offer it.”

 One of the selling points of the 20-chapter book is the simplicity of language that the author employs in putting across his message on forgiveness.

 It is such that readers don’t need to keep a dictionary by their side while reading through the book. The author’s ability to keep his narration short and simple while keeping at the front burner the sublime message it carries or conveys is legendary.

However, it seems many authors referred to in the book are not given the credit they deserve. Such referencing, especially where interesting stories were told would have helped readers to do some further reading.

 Besides, adequate attributions help a great deal to avoid falling into the plagiarism trap. A bibliography at the end of the book would have added some color to the work.

However, on a personal note, having been a Christian for decades and having taught the subject of forgiveness to people, I have come to note that “Offences and Forgiveness” take the subject matter deeper than what I had known and believed long before I read the book.

 It takes teaching forgiveness to a different level to set me thinking deeply and differently. Where, I had thought, like Apostle Peter, that I deserve some medals for forgiving others seven times, through the book I hear the Lord saying “Not seven times but seventy times seven.”

 This call to open the door of forgiveness to all is one that everyone needs to heed if there’s going to be peace in homes, relationships, and interactions.

Offenses and Forgiveness is one book that should rate very highly in Christian minds as it will help in smoothing out and strengthening Christian relationships and fellowships, at both individual and group levels or in communities and workplaces where interactions occur from day to day.

A call on families, neighbours, friends, and people to forgive offences is germane because they will certainly come. Above all, forgiveness is a sacrifice that pays in the now and hereafter.

This book is recommended to everybody who professes the name of Christ.



Related Posts

Leave a Comment