Forgiveness Part 2
The other day, I was once again thinking about forgiveness and COMPLETELY FORGOT about writing the post above about forgiveness.
So today, I decided I'm going to start keeping up with my blogs and low and behold, I was going to write about forgiveness! And then I saw the post I had written!
So, this will be part 2. I wanted to add more perspective of what I believe forgiveness IS, and what it ISN'T and also, how as Christians we can be put under burdens that we aren't meant to bear.
So here goes:
FORGIVENESS PART 2.
We are called to forgive those who hurt us, or harm us. The scripture is clear as I have already written that we are to forgive.
But what does that look like in the event of a person who has abused us, or committed a crime against us or our children that in Old Testament Israel would have been punishable by the death penalty?
We don't have those penalties now. So many times, those who have committed henious acts live and dwell among us.
Does forgiving them mean that we have to forget what happened? Does it mean we have to invite them into our home and have "fellowship" with them? Does it mean that we are to "stuff" the pain away? What if they have not repented? What IF, they don't care!
There is a difference between "forgiveness" AND "reconciliation".
Forgiveness would mean that you do not want this person eternally damned for their action. You hope for them to change. It would mean taking the very, REAL pain, and asking the Lord to bear that burden. It means that you can see this person as multidimensional and understand that humans, including US are capable of great sin. Forgiveness allows us to have compassion, even if it is not merited.
Christ forgave sin by his death on the cross and conquered the consequences of sin through His resurrection. But not everybody will have their sin payed for, and the consequence cancelled.
But Christ still forgave.
In the case of the person who is unrepentant, we CHOOSE to forgive, but the forgiveness only benefits us. It doesn't benefit them, because they haven't received it.
The forgiveness we give does NOT necessarily mean there is reconciliation! In the case of a child molester, or rapist, or abuser, somebody who has harmed you greatly or your family greatly, there may be good reason why relationship cannot be restored.
And frankly, I do not believe that some relationships SHOULD be restored, they are too damaged.
There is always hope, and there is always Christ. If a person is restored to newness of life, and changes are made, then that would be up to the person harmed. But it is not required.
I have seen amazing acts of kindness and forgiveness among people who have been completely devastated by another person's actions, but those are usually situations where the person committed a crime and they have been forgiven and then the family reaches out to share the gospel within a jail situation. There is purpose behind the action.
I just wanted to say that if you have been harmed by another person's heineous act, forgiving can set you free from the burdens of bitterness and hatred, that if they take root, can lead to personal ruin; and give you the ability to move on in life.
But do not put yourself under a self imposed burden of thinking to prove your forgiveness you must
spend Thanksgiving with that person, even if they are unrepentant.
Not everybody will be invited to the wedding feast.