I did the math, two and a half years of school fees for Music College, rent for the dormitories including utility bills, and my everyday expenses sum up to a little over a quarter short of a million Philippine Pesos. That’s how much money I seem to have thrown away when I was the horrible person I was before. What would you do if someone wasted that much of your money?
That was just the beginning of it. I lied to get what I want. Every time my father phoned me to check up on me and my studies, I told him that everything was going well. There were times that I asked him for more money then I needed.
I stopped going to church for a while, and I went when I wanted to or when there is an event that seems fun to attend. My spiritual life was empty, God had always been there, He was waiting for me to let Him back in, but I kept my walls up.
I focused on the things that would make one desirable in the eyes of this world. I wanted to look like I know what I was doing even if I did not. I was giving so much effort to those things that never really mattered. I should have taken the time honing my skills, working on my craft, and educating myself, but it seems that I had the knack to make wrong decisions back then.
When my father knew about everything, we had that one talk when I was already here in Australia, and that’s when he told me that I am not trustworthy anymore. It was ringing out inside my head. I kept trying to deny it because it hurt me, but it was true. I think that’s the worst kind of pain, realising painful truths. I looked back to see the person I was becoming then; even I lost all the respect I once had for myself. I kept asking “how did it come to this?” “Why am I capable of such atrocities?”
I was beating myself up about it internally, but my father did not treat me any differently. Surprisingly, it was like the old times, just like nothing happened. He forgave me for lying to him. He forgave me for stealing from him. He forgave me for abusing the trust he had for me. He forgave me without asking for anything in return. He asked only of things that are ultimately for my benefit.
This was God’s forgiveness. I remember thinking to myself. When Jesus was crucified, He even asked God to forgive those who are doing Him wrong (Luke 23:34). Genuine forgiveness; no grudges. I hurt my father countless times, and he never held any of those against me. My father forgave me because God forgave him. God loves me, and He forgave me, freed me from my sins. Through my dad, I saw that it was possible to forgive just like Jesus did with mankind.
Luke 23:34 (NIV)
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots
Luke 17:4 (NIV)
And if he trespasses against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him.
And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.