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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Forgiveness, Remorse and Measurable Repentance

I was following up with some comments about my recent Forgiveness rant, Part 1 and Part 2...

 And there were parts I left out that I need to mention.  My source said not to quote him, so I will quote him without citing him.  He said that there are only five words that apply to this discussion.


5 Words.


What are those words?  Scroll down please....











WHAT





DOES








THE












BIBLE











SAY?







Yup - What does the Bible say?



I said, 'What about if I'm not sorry enough - or if I'm really sorry and trying to enter into the other's pain that I have somehow caused, and they don't feel my genuine sorrow or remorse?  What then?  Am I beholden to the yoke of their anger and unforgiveness?'  He said, 'No - you forgive them for not forgiving you and move on.'


"But what if I'm not sorry enough?  What if I come across as ingenuine?  What if they can't feel my repentance?"


"It doesn't matter - the answer lies in the question: What does the Bible say?"


Well, it seems Scripture hasn't much to say about the emotional penance we are to do to merit a forgiveness.  In fact, the most glaring Scripture that I came across was the following verse:


Colossians 3:13  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.


So, how did the Lord forgive us?  When we have done enough to prove our sorry-ness?  The hymn-writer would take issue with that:


Could my tears forever flow, Could my zeal no respite no -

These for sin could not atone - Thou must save, and Thou alone!
In my hand no price I bring - Simply to the Cross I cling.

Does God forgive us only when we're sorry enough?  No - because we could never begin to be sorry enough!  That is the essence of grace - forgiveness is poured out in spite of our lack of sorry-ness.


Ephesians 5:1 also tells us: Be imitators of God, as beloved children...


If we are going to imitate God, we must include in that category: How we forgive others.


On another note I pondered that Jesus never had to say sorry.  To anyone.  No one deserved an apology from Him, though I'm sure He hurt people's feelings.  Jesus did not ever need to repent though He rebuked others and caused their hearts deep anguish and pain.  Simply because others were hurting did not warrant an apology from Jesus who did no wrong.


Jesus came to free us from the yoke of slavery of sin.  And when others sin against us by not forgiving us, we are even free to forgive them and move on, and yes - even incubate their toxicity from our lives as much as possible.  Not out of unforgiveness.  But out of fairness to them - if anything!  They obviously find us so difficult to be around that we can make their lives easier by simply staying away as much as possible.  I am not advocating absolute disengagement or grudge-bearing!  Just a healthy distance!  


I hope I have made more sense here than I did the last time.  Otherwise, look forward to more in this ongoing series!  I welcome your questions, comments and input, as always!





1 comment:

  1. A couple things that "the Bible says to do," (OUR Father in Heaven says to do), at the point at which we NEED to forgive someone. One is, "speaking the truth in love," we should love the person enough to "go to them, tell them their fault, between you and him alone," as Jesus told us to. So that "we grow up in ALL aspects, into Him Who is the Head..." (See ALL of that powerful passage!) Love the person enough to help them discover their bitterness and their need to forgive. Or, their need to, "go to him," (the person who has "sinned against him"), and to "tell him his fault between you and him alone..." as Jesus instructed us to. Then do the rest of what He told us to do, if the person does not listen, or repent (Luke).

    Also, "let EVERYONE be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger..." Slow to even subtle forms of anger, like impatience, sarcasm, resentment, coldness and hardness of heart towards the person. We OFTEN sin in far more destructive ways, because of our failure to "be quick to listen" well and thoroughly, and because of our sin of not being "slow to speak." E.g. to all the wrong people, including ourselves, as we convince ourselves to believe our OWN confident FALSE assumptions, then false accusations, etc. :) Elaine

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