Thursday, May 08, 2008

Questioning Forgiveness

What does God require of us to be forgiven?

Do we really need to repent?

Are we forgiven even before we sin? or after we sin?

Is forgiveness different for those who are not children of God? Are there those that God does not forgive?

I get stuck on these questions a lot. I wonder about forgiveness and the difference or similarities of "giving it to God".

If a person wrongs you and then comes to you to ask forgiveness, without a doubt you are commanded to forgive.

If a person wrongs you and never asks forgiveness and continues to wrong you, what is the point in forgiveness? Some say "forgiveness isn't for the offender in that case, it's for you, your peace of mind." But then I ask, if forgiveness is for the one who was offended, why would God ever forgive? Does God need to forgive for His peace of mind?

Are we really required to forgive those who wrong us, who never ever repent, and then continually wrong us? Or, are we asked to give that person/situation over to God. Let God deal with that person and remove ourselves from harms way?

Is forgiveness a "two-way" deal? Can there be true forgiveness if one party doesn't want it? Would God forgive me if I didn't ask?

I do wonder sometimes if we require more of ourselves than God himself requires when if comes to forgiveness. If God forgives when we repent, shouldn't we require the same?

Maybe forgiveness is the actual act of handing over an unrepentant offender to the Lord. If we can do this, we are acting biblically. We are maintaining our relationship with the Father and not allowing unforgiviness to become a sin "of the mind" that would hinder our relationship with God.

This is one of those things that keeps me up at night...pondering.
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
At first glance it seems that verse is teaching that God only forgives us when and if we forgive others who may have wronged us. As I examine this closer I see that it is possibly teaching that not forgiving = sin, and that sin of unforgiveness is what is separating us from God's forgiveness.

God's forgiveness: It bloggles the mind!

Repost from 2/17/04

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