Posted January 13th, 2008 at 02:49 AM by Lois
Some people have become upset with me when I have shared the importance of forgiveness. One can get a wrong mindset when they have been hurt in a church setting and feel the offended must come to them and admit their wrong or ask for forgiveness first before they should forgive them. This is far from the truth.
This issue of forgiveness is one that periodically has been difficult to discuss on our support group. There are many who have come this way who are pretty hurt and at the time the poster feels there is no way they can forgive.
I believe that forgiveness as a Christian is not an option. Yes, that means no matter how hurt one was. Yes, that means even if the hurt was deliberate and with intent. Jesus taught that we must forgive and if we refuse to forgive, then our own sins will not be forgiven.
We could look at this subject from a few angles. Jesus did not die for just some people's sins. He took upon Himself the sins of all humanity. He paid the full price for those sins. And if we will allow Him into our lives, He washes us clean from any and all wrongdoing we did- past, present, and future.
So, who are we to tell anyone they cannot be forgiven? We didn't pay the price, Jesus did. We didn't even pay the price for our own sins. If it were not for the grace of God, would we not have many sins we'd for which we'd have to give account? Because of this, who are we to withhold forgiveness?
Remember when Jesus told those who had caught the woman in adultery that whoever was without sin, that person could cast the first stone to have her killed as the law allowed. There was only one there who could have started the stone throwing, and that was Jesus. We all have been in need of forgiveness. We have all been in need of mercy. We should then extend this to those who have wronged us.
Another angle- if we refuse to forgive and desire to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts, doesn't that person(s) yet have control or influence over us? Things like this do affect us, whether or not we realize it. Why allow what someone else did to continue to adversely affect you?
Forgiving doesn't mean it didn't or doesn't hurt. Forgiving doesn't mean you have to trust the person again. Forgiving doesn't mean allowing yourself to be used over and over. Forgiving doesn't mean that the person does not have possible consequences to face.
Forgiving releases that person from you and also releases you from that person if you can follow what I mean.
It greatly angers me at times when I see what the system has done to people. But that doesn't mean I hate the people in it or that I do not forgive them. Many people there do things because they are only doing what they know to do. Many have no idea how they hurt people. Many have no idea the error they teach.
I know how I changed while I was involved. I know how judgmental I could be at times. I needed...