People Want More Forgiveness But Don't Easily Give It

Jerod Clark

November 30, 2010

i don't blame anyone for not going to the church for help with forgiveness. you said it yourself. "We can be bad examples of forgivers—not only as an institution but as individuals as well."

Ghandi was a wise man. he said, "be the change you want to see in the world." if we want people to come to the church for our "great insight on forgiveness," we need to forgive. part of it is Jesus' teaching, "treat others the way you want to be treated." but if we're not doing that, if we're not forgiving... why would *anyone* come to us? we need to deal with the plank in our own eye before we can help someone with the speck in theirs.

November 30, 2010

I can see forgiveness falling on hard times. I find a lot of Christians don't "trust" it and I think the reason they don't is because it doesn't "work" the way they imagine it is intended to work. Forgiveness I think as portrayed in sentimental cinema is often seen as a weapon of reform to change another. I'm not saying it doesn't have this power. I'm saying it that forgiveness in our cases is really there to help us. Forgiveness allows us to love and saves us from bitterness against the people who have wronged us.

When we construe forgiveness to be a weapon of reform or withholding it as retaliation against those who have hurt us we only hurt ourselves. Again and again I hear people speak wistfully about forgiveness as a failed project or something that the evil of others is keeping us from offering. pvk

Brenda Heyink
December 1, 2010

I think part of the challenge with forgiveness has to do with a limited understanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not the same as saying that things are okay - it's about acknowledging that we were hurt by others' actions but we still choose to forgive them and desire to restore the relationship. Thus, in forgiving someone it might still be appropriate (for the well-being of the relationship) to put up boundaries so that they do not hurt me (or others) in the same way again. I also believe that forgiveness does not turn a blind eye to appropriate consequences for inappropriate actions. Pretending that nothing was wrong helps neither the victim nor the perpetrator (and forgiveness shouldn't have to pretend this). There is an appropriate amount of restitution necessary for a relationship to be healed - saying sorry and forgiving is sometimes not enough to rebuild a relationship, especially if it's a serious misdeed or a recurring problem.

Parish Nurse Joan
December 1, 2010

People need to learn that forgiveness is not accepting the behavior. It is following Christ's commandment to Love one another. It is faith. It is following in Jesus' footsteps. Amen.

December 1, 2010

Interesting that our perspective is mostly on being the forgiver; imagine (or maybe it is all too real) being one in need of forgiveness, wanting it, not knowing where it can be found, and everywhere you would turn, including the church, you find nothing but cold shoulder, judgment, or "conditionals" for the truly repentent . . . .

December 1, 2010

When we forgive someone we do us a favor. We free our mind from any bad feelings and we move on.

December 2, 2010

i would say for give and it shall be return to you when your turn come we all has mess up one time or another. and we too need forgivemess even we have to forgive our own self some times. god said forgive seventy time seventy. If we don't forgive then we shall not be forgiven.

December 20, 2010

Of the responses to this blog, I like this one the most because it seems to go along less with the current popular concept of forgiveness that sweeps the behavior that required it under the rug.

So much "forgiveness" talk seems to originate in the therapy world rather than the Christian world. That 16th C. confession, written by a couple of brilliant young minds, starts out with "repentance" before it moves to forgiveness if memory serves me correctly.

e.g.: should abolitionists have simply "forgiven" slaveholders without requiring a change in behavior? An extreme example admittedly but many of the personal ones require the same principle.

e.g.: should a wife simply "forgive" a philandering husband and what really is the result when she does without his repentance? Does that "forgiveness" include continuing the marital relationship while he continues in his adulterous behavior? There is so much more to be said on this topic but let this suffice for now.

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