PDA

View Full Version : How do i forgive him?


st3rlight
01-02-02, 11:23 PM
I've been having alot of problems lately, and have been feeling easily angered, and emotionally unstable.

Today a friend of mine spoke to me and told me that a friend of his had a dream. He interepreted and discussed it with the friend and said it was involving myself and the problems I am facing, and may face. They straight out told me that I had these problems because I could not forgive.

I asked who in particular, and they told me who this person was who I could not forgive.

I had a think about it and deep down I realise I have not forgiven this person and I don't know whether I can.

I believe that through my friends God is reminding me I need to forgive before I can grow spiritually.

But I feel after all this person has done to me and my family in the past, I can't forgive him. I can easily say so, but deep down how could I ever be normal again with him.

The reason is this, this person is my sister's ex boyfriend. When they broke up he threatened to kill my family members. He even had a knife and was waiting at a friends place for the time he was to come over to our place. I honestly believe that if God had not used my friend there to stop this person, he would have done something to us.

I have never been so scared and to this day, I am cautious if ever I see him. He tries to contact my sister every now and then, thinking he has done nothing wrong.

Recently we ran into him but we avoided contact. He sent a message asking why we were scared.

When I think about it, I can remember everything, and how bad we felt at the time, how he made us feel scared and angry.
I know I haven't forgiven him, but I feel its so hard for me to do it.

I know I can pray for God to help me forgive but I also realise it has to come from within me for it to be real. But I just don't see how.

But if I don't forgive him then I believe I will continue facing problems and leading a troubled life.

I just posted this same post on the Ask a Pastor board, but would really like advice from anyone who may be able to help!

thanks!!

tony1
01-03-02, 02:48 AM
Forgiveness is a decision not a feeling.

God says if you forgive others he will forgive you.

If you want God to forgive you, then simply tell God out loud that forgive the person, and if you don't feel like doing that, you can tell him that, too.

It is a decision, pure and simple.

Many people refuse to forgive because it still hurts and they just don't feel that they can forgive.

Forgiveness is not pretending that it doesn't hurt anymore.
Forgiveness is telling God that it hurts a lot but you don't want anything standing between you and God anymore, especially the pain.

Breni Sue
01-03-02, 04:39 AM
Moving this from CL&D because I feel it could be better dealt with here. :)

Forgiveness can be a very difficult thing, especially to someone who has hurt us deeply. And sometimes it just takes time and prayer for us to come to terms with what the person did and conjur up the willingness to forgive them.

Please note, though, that just because you forgive someone, that does not mean you are condoning what they did or giving them an excuse to do it again. Nor does it mean that you have to be friends with them. All it means is that although what they did was still hurtful and wrong, you no longer hold a grudge against them.

I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive this person. It may take awhile and it may be hard. But with God's help, it can be done.

Oh yeah, and welcome to ILJ! :)

Ann
01-03-02, 02:27 PM
Hello st3rlight
Tony and Bishop Short gave you very good answers. I'll be posting more to you on the ASK board but just want to clarify one thing here. There is a difference between forgiving someone and giving them the opportunity to repeat the action especially when the lives of other people are involved. In a really basic example when I was growing up I was bitten by a dog who had rabies. I had to go through the whole Pasture series and it was no fun. I didn't hate the dog and I cried when my mother told me he was euthanized but even at that age I could understand the difference between a regular dog bite and a bite that could kill (or at least I could after my Daddy explained it to me). In this case you can choose to forgive and know that when you tell God you choose to forgive He will help you make the choice a reality and the feelings will come after not before the choice but that does not mean you invite the guy to come by and see what more damage he may want to do unless God specifically tells you to. If God tells you that He will protect but be really really sure it's God. I wish we could acess some of the threads from the Christian Woman's Board about domestic violence including the violence of a boyfriend.

st3rlight
01-03-02, 08:58 PM
thankyou all for your replies...

i know God wants me to forgive, and I also realise he is using all of you to remind me that if i dont forgive then there will always be this bad spot inside of me that is causing all my trouble right now...

i do want to forgive him,.... so im making the choice to forgive and let go of everything.

last night i did pray to God.... but theres something im still confused.

i prayed that i would forgive him and that God will forgive him too. Today someone mentioned seeing this person, and i just felt angry again. does that mean i have not forgiven?

I know forgiveness is a choice not a feeling, as you have showed me in your posts, but does my feelings towards him also determine how genuine my decision to forgive is?

Anyway I do want to forgive him, I know it is what I must do, and deep down I want God to forgive him and save this person also.

VG8XP80
01-10-02, 04:28 AM
I've got a question.
When does God forgive us our sins? When we repent? When are we supposed to forgive 70x7? When they repent? So, if the person doesn't repent, why do we need to forgive? I know we can't let it eat away, but is that forgiving? Sometimes I wonder if we're using the wrong word.
When God forgives us our sins, he separates them as far as east is from west and remembers them no more. So if we forgive even as Christ forgives us, isn't that the way we should forgive? The only way to forgive this completely imho is if the person repents. God ain't forgiving us if we don't ask, so why should we? Again, we don't allow it to eat away and destroy us. But moving forward with God's help isn't the same as forgiving, unless I'm terribly mixed up.

Orpheus42
01-10-02, 07:31 PM
Rory, is it the same thing when we forgive as it is when God forgives? That's a question I think pertains.

I had a discussion of this sort with your brother awhile back on College Rage, I let it slip away. It'll be good to get it back going in some way.

cujo95
01-13-02, 11:13 PM
Hi, all of you who struggle with forgiveness, including myself.

There have been a lot of Scriptures quoted and expounded upon here on forgiving those who have wronged us.

But here is what the Apostle Paul tells the Christians at Ephesis and Colosse:
"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God FORGAVE you." (Eph 4:32)

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord FORGAVE you." (Col 3:13)

For the Christian, God's forgiveness does not depend upon whether we forgive one another. God freely forgave us as a gift when we received Christ as our Savior.
In light of all God has done for us, forgiven us and given us eternal life, can we not say: I can forgive because I am forgiven?

I can

kimanne
01-19-02, 05:49 PM
Forgiveness is an animal uniquely its own....

I talk alot with my son about respect. And he tells me about how other kids/people act and will admit that his reaction isn't always as respectful as it should be. I tell him that he should show respect to all people, not because they deserve it, but because of who HE is.

I feel the same way about forgiveness. The forgiveness that we give is not necessarily because someone asks for it or deserves it. We practice forgiveness for many reasons. One is because our Lord told us to forgive others. Another reason is because forgiveness takes anger, revenge, spitefulness, animosity etc. out of our hearts regarding that person. It doesn't happen overnight. And sometimes you have to pray over and over for your heart to "feel" the release, and allow God to work. Time is a help.

The one thing about forgiveness though - it does not always mean reconciliation. That was a tough one for me to get. If you forgive someone, then you need to forget it and have a relationship with them again, right? Wrong. Some people are dangerous or toxic to be around. Forgiving and getting rid of the anger is a great benefit to the forgiver, and allows our relationship with God to grow more intimate. But choosing not to allow someone back into your life is sometimes important and has nothing to do with true forgiveness.

VG - It's very hard for us to be like God and truly forget the wrongs done to us. Even after we forgive, sometimes we still have it on the mental chalkboard of our minds. Sometimes thats a good defense mechanism to remind us not to "allow" that person to do that again to us. I think someone said that previously. But yes, we can forgive people who have not asked for it. Again, we do not give them forgiveness because they deserve it, we give it to them because of who we are, and how we choose to live our lives. God asked us to forgive, He did not condition it upon someone's asking for it. I think it's really hard to experience true peace, without anger, about someone without forgiving them first. JMO. ~kim

VG8XP80
01-20-02, 01:10 AM
Luke 17
3
So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.
4
If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, `I repent,' forgive him."

Are you certain God didn't say something about forgiveness being conditional to repentance? Or is repentance not the same as asking for forgiveness? Maybe not, but I'd say repentance is even more than asking forgiveness. Repentance is genuinely trying to change. What think you about the Luke 17 passage?

kimanne
01-21-02, 09:37 AM
VG -
I do think in Luke 17 that forgiveness is somewhat conditional upon our brother's statement of repentance. However, when I read this passage, I understand it to mean that when we actively approach someone about their sin, and they say that they will repent (do it no more, or certainly try), we are commanded to forgive them countlessly. I think this is an example of how Jesus wants our ability to forgive to be endless. I read this with emphasis on the endless part.

I think asking for forgiveness and repentance are related but
still different things. If I sin, and confess it, and ask for forgiveness, I will try to repent of my sin if I am really sorry for it. God knows the difference between confessing with our tongues and confessing with our hearts. When someone comes to you and apologizes for something, it's pretty easy to forgive because we believe they are sorry for what they have done. But sometimes I think people apologize not always because they are sorry, but because they don't want to us to be angry or upset, and they want to put a matter behind them to move forward in the relationship. How do you decide that someone is repentant if they do not actually say it? Do you question them about repentance before you forgive them? This is an interesting subject to relate ourselves in everyday life, and I'm glad you've brought this up, VG, as you have me digging in Scripture.

There are places that tell us to forgive that do not mention confession or repentance.

Matthew 6:14-15 - 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.

Mark 11:25 - And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

After doing some reading and giving this thought, I think forgiveness needs to flow from us for our own benefit (inner peace, mercy and forgiveness from the Lord), whether there is repentance or not, but if someone comes to you with an apology, confession, statement of repentance, even if it's many times over, we are required to forgive.

What do you think? ~kim

VG8XP80
01-21-02, 04:40 PM
Posted by Kim:
"There are places that tell us to forgive that do not mention confession or repentance.

Matthew 6:14-15 - 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.

Mark 11:25 - And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

After doing some reading and giving this thought, I think forgiveness needs to flow from us for our own benefit (inner peace, mercy and forgiveness from
the Lord), whether there is repentance or not, but if someone comes to you with an apology, confession, statement of repentance, even if it's many times
over, we are required to forgive.

What do you think?" ~kim

Well, I would ask when does the Lord forgive our sins? When we ask for it. God doesn't save us unless we ask Him to. It could be argued that God forgave all our sins when Jesus died on the cross, and it is us that don't accept His forgiveness. Is this the case? Or does God forgive our sins when we repent of them? It'd be hard to say God has forgiven our sins but will still send us to Hell. I'd say He paid the price for "all" sin on the cross, but didn't actually 'forgive' my particular sins until I asked Him to.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

There it seems to say that God forgives our sins when we repent. The passages you sited seem to say that we should forgive others if God is to forgive us. Luke 17 seems to say that the offending party should repent before we're obligated to forgive. Seems like we are supposed to forgive in the same way God does.

When Jesus says we are to forgive our brother endlessly, I think this would mean if he continues to commit "different" sins against us. As in Luke 17. I think if our brother commits 7 different sins in a day, we should forgive all 7 of them, if he repents. I don't think this would apply if he committed the same sin 7 times, because then we would know that his repentance was only lip service and not actual attempt at change.


Keep in mind, I'm trying to figure this out as I go as well; this has been a subject of interest to me for quite some time, and I've never had a discussion about it before.

cujo95
01-21-02, 05:30 PM
Hi VG and kimanne,

VG
You say: "Keep in mind, I'm trying to fugure this as I go as well;......"

Let me give you a Christian web-site that has been a tremendous help for me in figuring out and understanding the questions and issues that I had about God's forgiveness for us and our forgiveness for others.

If you will type-in, or click on, www.realanswers.net it will take you to the "people to people" home page. Then just click on the "Real Answers" box at the top of the home page. This will take you to their Biblical audio section. There are at least two audios that deal with confession and forgiveness, and one that deals with 1 John 1:9 specifically.
If you have "Real Player" or something similar, you can download and listen to these audios.

I think you will find what the speaker says is very informative and pleasently surprising. Also, you will find lots of other information on this web-site.

Yours in Christ,

cujo

VG8XP80
01-25-02, 01:58 AM
It seemed to me they took great pains to tell me what 1 John 1:9 didn't mean, rather than what it does mean. I in no way negate that Christ's work was finished on the cross. I'm just not sure our job was done at that point. Of course, when Christ died, His work was done. Nevertheless, we still have to make a commitment to Him. I don't think we can be healthy Christians and not repent. I don't think the "Oh well, I'm saved so what's the dif" position works that well. I'm not saying we should live in horror that we might have forgotten to repent for a certain sin, and rack our brains to make sure there's nothing we've ever done that we didn't acknowledge. That would be silly. But, I do think confessing our sinfulness, especially when accepting Christ, is important.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I think it comes down to semantics. Maybe important semantics though. I guess I would ask a person if they gave up the hatred, or maybe gave up the right to revenge. I don't think I would use the word "forgive" unless the offender sought forgiveness. I still believe that we need to approach Christ in order to be forgiven, and Luke 17 seems to say the same thing about our brother aproaching us.

cujo95
02-01-02, 11:05 PM
Hi VG,

You say: "It seemed to me they took great pains to tell me what 1 John 1:9 didn't mean, rather than what it does mean."

I disagree. I think that they did explain what it does mean, very adequately.

I actually was hoping you would also listen to the audio entitled, "Confession and the Lord's Prayer", and not just the audio on 1 John 1:9.

To a people under the Old Covenent of the Law -to whom Jesus preached- forgiveness had a condition attached to it: "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." ( Matt 6:14-15). (See also, Matt 18:23-35)

Through Christ's finished work at Calvary we are forgiven unconditionally because all our sins are washed away by the shed blood of Christ. Jesus Christ IS the condition of our forgiveness, and He has already fully met that condition of our forgiveness. (Hebrews 10:10-18)
Under the New Covenent of Grace we ARE completely forgiven, and the Bible tells us that we are also to forgive one another unconditionally because God had forgiven us unconditionally through His Son. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Eph 4:32)
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (Col 3:13)

I am forgiven because Jesus was forsaken for me.

I can freely forgive because Jesus was forsaken for me.