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Forgiveness


09-07-2016, 03:48 PM #1
Todd
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Since early after becoming a Christian I have believed that forgiving others is important for our spiritual growth and progress.  I am still amazed at how hard it seems for many Christian's to forgive others.

I am curious what others have to say about forgiveness.

Must the person who offended be truly repentant or sorry before one should forgive?
Do your own feelings of injustice or disagreement with someone, justify un-forgiveness?
How much should "who is right" play into making the decision to forgive someone?
How does unforgiveness affect your own spirituality and connection with God?
If someone personally asks you for forgiveness what should be your response?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Matthew 6:9-15 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Obviously my thoughts on forgiveness are rooted in Christian thought and scripture, but I am interested in everyone's thoughts on the subject.
This post was last modified: 09-07-2016, 03:58 PM by Todd.

Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye, the blessed of my Father, inherit the reign that hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

And the king answering, shall say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did to one of these my brethren -- the least -- to me ye did
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09-07-2016, 04:01 PM #2
Lady
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My first thought, "beautiful topic!"
My second thought, "70 x 7."   Big Grin

Matthew 18:21-22
 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

What happens when we have forgiven someone 490 times? Is that the limit?
My analysis is that Peter was so concerned with "the rule" that he completely missed "the spirit" of this lesson from Christ. 
Here is a nice analysis that puts it into perspective-note the sentence about the forgiver's Christian character:
http://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-times-seven.html

Peter, wishing to appear especially forgiving and benevolent, asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. The Jewish rabbis at the time taught that forgiving someone more than three times was unnecessary, citing Amos 1:3-13 where God forgave Israel’s enemies three times, then punished them. By offering forgiveness more than double that of the Old Testament example, Peter perhaps expected extra commendation from the Lord. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, far beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have stunned the disciples who were listening. Although they had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than in the unlimited terms of grace.

By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times, a number that is, for all practical purposes, beyond counting. Christians with forgiving hearts not only do not limit the number of times they forgive; they continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as they do the first time. Christians are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us, and it is He who provides the ability to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over.

 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  Jeremiah 31:3
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09-07-2016, 04:08 PM #3
damien50
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Quote:Must the person who offended be truly repentant or sorry before one should forgive?
[
In the human attempt to be as holy as possible in the eyes of God one flaw presents itself which makes it less than impossible to truly know the repentant from the non - I am not blessed with Christ ability to know the thoughts of others so it becomes inevitably complicated for me as to what and whom I would forgive let alone forget.


Quote:Do your own feelings of injustice or disagreement with someone, justify un-forgiveness?
No, but it is all dependent upon the situation.  It's quite hard to forgive someone who repetitiously wrongs me.

Quote:How much should "who is right" play into making the decision to forgive someone?
Depends on the situation.

Quote:How does unforgiveness affect your own spirituality and connection with God?
The burden always feels transferred when forgiveness is passed to the effect of seeming as if God may or is handling my battles.  The inverse occurs with unforgiving leading to a slew of bad thoughts and actions that do nothing for spiritual growth but degradation.

Quote:If someone personally asks you for forgiveness what should be your response?
Situational to some degree but I won't forget.  I would forgive them as it could always be the opposite situation and seeking where there isn't hurts more than anything.


Though all these questions to some degree seem to play with empathy and to be partially off topic leads me toquestion why God might manifest in the flesh, if only to spiritually and physically empathize with His creation.

The Continuation of the Truth

Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord . [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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09-07-2016, 04:09 PM #4
Todd
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(09-07-2016, 04:01 PM)Lady Wrote:  My first thought, "beautiful topic!"
My second thought, "70 x 7."   Big Grin

Matthew 18:21-22
 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

What happens when we have forgiven someone 490 times? Is that the limit?
My analysis is that Peter was so concerned with "the rule" that he completely missed "the spirit" of this lesson from Christ. 
Here is a nice analysis that puts it into perspective-note the sentence about the forgiver's Christian character:
http://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-times-seven.html

Peter, wishing to appear especially forgiving and benevolent, asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. The Jewish rabbis at the time taught that forgiving someone more than three times was unnecessary, citing Amos 1:3-13 where God forgave Israel’s enemies three times, then punished them. By offering forgiveness more than double that of the Old Testament example, Peter perhaps expected extra commendation from the Lord. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, far beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have stunned the disciples who were listening. Although they had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than in the unlimited terms of grace.

By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times, a number that is, for all practical purposes, beyond counting. Christians with forgiving hearts not only do not limit the number of times they forgive; they continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as they do the first time. Christians are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us, and it is He who provides the ability to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over.

Agreed....any insight in why you think it is so hard for Christian's to forgive, knowing that Jesus preached and taught unlimited forgiveness?  

I admit it took me some time after being a Christian to get over the "who is right" mentality, before I came to the place where I was truly able to forgive unconditionally.  My wife, who I consider just as spiritual, if not more spiritual than me, has a much harder time, when it comes to forgiving those who have wounded her deeply then I do.  She recognizes it is problem, but she seems to still struggle with it, way more than can I understand.

Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye, the blessed of my Father, inherit the reign that hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

And the king answering, shall say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did to one of these my brethren -- the least -- to me ye did
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09-07-2016, 04:14 PM #5
Kung Fu
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And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. - Quran 42:40

O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. - Quran 64:14

Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu alaihi wasalam) said:

"My similitude and that of the life of this world is that of a traveler who took a rest at mid-day under a shade of a tree and then left it."       (Ahmad, at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and al-Hakim)

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09-07-2016, 04:32 PM #6
Artful Revealer
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Repentance is for one's self. Forgiveness is for another. And it should be unconditional. That's the cornerstone of Christianity.

Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew. - Gospel of Philip
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09-07-2016, 04:40 PM #7
Todd
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@ Damien...I don't equate forgiveness with trust.  

I.e. if someone has wronged me, I can forgive them and not hold it against them as it concerns loving them and acting with grace towards them.  However it doesn't mean that I have to make myself vulnerable to them and give them an open door to hurt me again.  That being said, I do think if we truly have forgiven someone, we should at least be open to giving them the opportunity to regain trust that has been broken.

Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye, the blessed of my Father, inherit the reign that hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

And the king answering, shall say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did to one of these my brethren -- the least -- to me ye did
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09-07-2016, 04:47 PM #8
damien50
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(09-07-2016, 04:40 PM)Todd Wrote:  @ Damien...I don't equate forgiveness with trust.  

I.e. if someone has wronged me, I can forgive them and not hold it against them as it concerns loving them and acting with grace towards them.  However it doesn't mean that I have to make myself vulnerable to them and give them an open door to hurt me again.  That being said, I do think if we truly have forgiven someone, we should at least be open to giving them the opportunity to regain trust that has been broken.

Trusting, in my opinion, is to make oneself vulnerable.

There's nothing wrong with forgiving, even if one doesn't seek it.

The Continuation of the Truth

Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord . [9] For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
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09-07-2016, 04:50 PM #9
Todd
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(09-07-2016, 04:14 PM)Kung Fu Wrote:  And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. - Quran 42:40

O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. - Quran 64:14

KF, thanks for sharing those verses.  I agree with those verses completely.  How do these verses relate to you personally though.  Do you struggle to actually do what these verses say or does it come easy for you?

Then shall the king say to those on his right hand, Come ye, the blessed of my Father, inherit the reign that hath been prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

And the king answering, shall say to them, Verily I say to you, Inasmuch as ye did to one of these my brethren -- the least -- to me ye did
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09-07-2016, 04:52 PM #10
Lady
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(09-07-2016, 04:09 PM)Todd Wrote:  
(09-07-2016, 04:01 PM)Lady Wrote:  My first thought, "beautiful topic!"
My second thought, "70 x 7."   Big Grin

Matthew 18:21-22
 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

What happens when we have forgiven someone 490 times? Is that the limit?
My analysis is that Peter was so concerned with "the rule" that he completely missed "the spirit" of this lesson from Christ. 
Here is a nice analysis that puts it into perspective-note the sentence about the forgiver's Christian character:
http://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-times-seven.html

Peter, wishing to appear especially forgiving and benevolent, asked Jesus if forgiveness was to be offered seven times. The Jewish rabbis at the time taught that forgiving someone more than three times was unnecessary, citing Amos 1:3-13 where God forgave Israel’s enemies three times, then punished them. By offering forgiveness more than double that of the Old Testament example, Peter perhaps expected extra commendation from the Lord. When Jesus responded that forgiveness should be offered four hundred and ninety times, far beyond that which Peter was proposing, it must have stunned the disciples who were listening. Although they had been with Jesus for some time, they were still thinking in the limited terms of the law, rather than in the unlimited terms of grace.

By saying we are to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times, a number that is, for all practical purposes, beyond counting. Christians with forgiving hearts not only do not limit the number of times they forgive; they continue to forgive with as much grace the thousandth time as they do the first time. Christians are only capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lives within us, and it is He who provides the ability to offer forgiveness over and over, just as God forgives us over and over.

Agreed....any insight in why you think it is so hard for Christian's to forgive, knowing that Jesus preached and taught unlimited forgiveness?  

I admit it took me some time after being a Christian to get over the "who is right" mentality, before I came to the place where I was truly able to forgive unconditionally.  My wife, who I consider just as spiritual, if not more spiritual than me, has a much harder time, when it comes to forgiving those who have wounded her deeply then I do.  She recognizes it is problem, but she seems to still struggle with it, way more than can I understand.

@Todd,
Oh, yeah, it is hard-humanly impossible to forgive every tresspass, every time. I attribute the lack of forgiveness to our humanity-our flesh which wars against the Spirit-our tendency to rebel and sin against the things of God.

Galatians 5:16-18
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

When I choose to not forgive, I am certainly not being led of the Spirit, but of the flesh. I usually am offended because of pride. If I choose to wallow in unforgiveness-it feeds my flesh as it nurses the hurt. Yes, it is hurtful to my spiritual connection with God because-I believe-unforgiveness is borne of pride and stubbornness (which probably is from the root of pride) which are sins. Sins hinder the connection-so does the sin of unforgivenenss according to Scripture:

Here is a verse of dire warning about not forgiving others:
Matthew 6:14, 15 “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Here is a verse that tells us to take care of our unforgiveness toward another before coming to God:

Matthew 5:23, 24 “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”


To err is human; to forgive, divine."  (can I get an "Amen?")
Alexander Pope

 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.  Jeremiah 31:3
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