"I forgive you. And I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you," Jean said during the sentencing hearing. "I love you just like anyone else." - BPNews
Reposted from The Cripplegate.
Insurance companies amaze me. One little speeding ticket or a minor fender-bender, and everything changes. Your monthly payment sky-rockets. They no longer trust you. Simply for doing the human thing of making a mistake, you henceforth are placed on insurance detention. They not only record the minor mishap, but your previously good relationship with them goes sour from merely one mistake. One little blunder results in a tarnished relationship.
Too often we can be the same way in our relationships with one another. Someone commits a few small sins against us and look out; like the graceless insurance company, the relationship gutters. We place them on our spiritual detention list for relational prosecution. We are no longer trusting, but suspecting. We are no longer caring, but gossiping. We are no longer inviting, but ignoring. We are no longer loving, but judging. And we are sinning.
Love … does not take into account a wrong suffered. (1 Cor. 13:5)
In the Greek, there is one word translated, “take into account.” It describes someone who keeps a mental record of events for the sake of some future action (Louw & Nida, 1:345). The word also was used in ancient Greek as an accounting term; the act of keeping track of debts and expenses. The idea, then, is that love does not act like a meticulous accountant who precisely records and holds onto every wrong-doing of others. Love does not cling to its hurt feelings.
If a Christian has been personally wronged by another Christian, should he just forgive and forget? I don’t believe he should. I think that would be a terrible mistake, and this attitude (while well-meaning) is very dangerous for local churches. It papers over disputes, and presents a false front of unity where, in fact, bitterness and sin often abound below the surface. Here is my position, briefly:
If a Christian offender has been made aware of his offense against another Christian, and if the offender refuses to repent and ask for forgiveness from the victim, then victim should not forgive him
Now understand - when I write this, I’m envisioning two professing Christians in the same congregation; one of whom is defiantly unrepentant. My position is drawn from this passage (Luke 17:3-4):
Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, `I repent,’ you must forgive him.
One Christian sins against another. Matthew 18:15-19 deals with how a church should handle disputes among brethren. This passage addresses the individual aspect. This is about how you and the other Christian should handle the matter. This is important, so get this straight in your head up front - when we talk about forgiveness, there is a difference between a believer and an unbeliever. These are completely different categories. How so?
(From Theologically Driven. Used with permission.)
In the past few months I have encountered several conflicting ideas about forgiveness in unexpected counseling situations. Nor is the confusion confined to the uninformed or immature.
The biblical idea of forgiveness is an elusive one that is often missed entirely or sometimes mixed with other ideas—ideas that are not necessarily bad, but that are not exactly what the Bible is trying to convey by its use of the word forgiveness, either. Note the following:
"When 'that person' who hurts you comes back to mind (and they will.) The right thing to do (not the easy thing to do) is to choose in that moment to forgive. No matter how many times you have done it in the past, you need to learn how to do it over and over again." CPost
The only means we have to free ourselves from habitual self-deception is the mirror of the Word of God.
Scripture never condemns anger per se. As a matter of fact we are given examples of appropriate, godly anger in the life of Jesus and a number of His followers, and we are actually commanded to “be angry” at times (Eph 4:26a). Obviously if God is angry at sin it cannot be wrong for believers to be angry at the same sins. Righteous anger reacts against actual sin, not against inconvenience or violation of personal preference. Righteous anger, instead, is concerned about the Lord and His glory. It is focused on what offends God and injures others, not about what harms the angry person. Righteous anger is self-controlled and concerned for the good of others.