Thursday, 24 November 2011

Notes on Forgiveness

Excerpted from, "Seven Keys to Spiritual renewal" by Steve Arterburn
1. Forgiveness ins't condoning the behaviour. To forgive isn't saying, "What you did is okay." It's saying, "The consequences of your behaviour belong to God, not to me." When you forgive, you transfer the person from your own system of justice to God's. To forgive is to recognize that the wrong done against you is a debt of sin, and all sin is against God. Therefore, in forgiving, you transfer the debt from your ledger of accounts to God's, leaving all recompense in His hands.

2. Forgiveness isn't forgetting what happened. It would be foolish to erase from our minds some of the wrongs done to us. If you did, you'd never learn from your experiences and would relive the same situations, and consequently, disappointments. What can eventually be forgotten are the raw emotions associated with the event... When you forgive, the terrible memories and feelings gradually diminish.

3. forgiveness isn't restoring trust. Trust is earned. to blindly trust someone who has hurt you is naive and irresponsible. If a person is a theif, it's foolish to give him a key to your house. If he's a pedophile, you'd be derelict to hire him as a babysitter. Forgiving a wrong does not mean extending to the person an invitation to sin again.

4. Forgiveness isn't synonymous with reconciliation. It is a necessary step toward reconciliation, but there are situations where reconciliation is not a good idea. If the other person is unwilling to reconcile due to bitterness or denial, you can still forgive. (But) it is unwise, if not dangerous, to seek reconciliation when the other person is unrepentent, unchanging or unwilling.

In Judaism, forgiveness isn't required unless repentence is demonstrated and pardon is sought. But Jesus raised the standard, commanding that we forgive unconditionally. Forgiveness is a choice. Forgiveness means to consciously and deliberately cancel a debt. Choosing to forgive is a personal, conscious and powerful choice of the will. Choosing to release the offender from his or her indebtedness is the epitome of being Christ-like.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:14)

Take Care

3 comments:

Warren said...

This post is worth an amen - but what happened to your "I've Given It Away" post? I was going to comment on that one.

John K said...

I deleted it. I was convicted that I was announcing my giving for the approval of others. Mat 6:2

Warren said...

I suspected as much. Anyway, I hope the Lord honours your action and blocks all feelings of cognitive dissonance.