Text Size: Zoom In

Are There Times to Lovingly Withhold Forgiveness?

There are ideas in yesterday’s conversation that make a lot of sense to me. It seems to me that it is consistent with the Bible to say that:

1. Bitterness is not an acceptable option for followers of Christ.

2. A desire to get even is also not a Christ-like option.

3. Our Lord gives us reason to want to be at peace with those who have harmed us.

4. Although forgiving those who harm us is difficult, it is possible, by faith.

5. Real forgiveness requires the grace and Spirit of God working in and through us.

6. There are times to follow Jesus’ example when, from the Cross he prayed, “Father forgiven them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

7. The New Testament does make statements that sound like we should always forgive– unconditionally.

8. Under some conditions withholding forgiveness can be very unbecoming to a follower of Christ.

9. God will have issues with us if we withhold forgiveness from those who acknowledge their wrongs and ask for our forgiveness.

10. When we acknowledge our sin and believe in Christ we are forgiven of the legal punishment for all past, present, and future sins. What remains is relational, family forgiveness that John talks about when he says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9).

11. Sometimes it is no longer possible for the person who has wronged us to say, “I’m sorry.”

12. Sometimes disagreements about forgiveness are a matter of semantics.

But if we agree on some or all of the above, the question I have is, what do we do when we come across something like the following quote from a classic reference book?

Vines Dictionary of New Testament Words says,

“Human “forgiveness” is to be strictly analogous to divine “forgiveness,” e.g., Matt. 6:12. If certain conditions are fulfilled, there is no limitation to Christ’s law of “forgiveness,” Matt. 18:21, 22. The conditions are repentance and confession” (Matt. 18:15-17; Luke 17:3).”

Is it possible that when it comes to getting the poison of lingering bitterness out of our system, sometimes it is more important to show faith and hope in God, and love toward others– than to talk about forgiving someone who has not yet admitted a serious wrong?

Although unconditional forgiveness may seem like a way of getting over and past what others have done to us, is it possible that unilaterally forgiving others may not be the most loving or helpful thing we can do for those who need to come to terms with what they have done.

If, for instance, you discover that I have knowingly lied to you, would it be helpful to me for you to “unconditionally forgive me” prior to me having a change of heart?

Seems to me that the principle of the Bible is that, as followers of Christ, it is our calling to love our enemies– but not always to forgive them. In other words, to love well can mean to lovingly withhold forgiveness from those who are knowingly refusing to acknowledge the harm they have done.

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+69 rating, 74 votes)

47 Responses to “Are There Times to Lovingly Withhold Forgiveness?”

  1. Valkiria says:

    What I learned, in the long term, is that God has always provided me with an opportunity to show love to those who hurt me, even when they don’t acknowledge their mistakes.
    Like it was said on yesterday’s devotional on the Daily Bread (When they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God. —1 Peter 2:12). Is up to me to “manifest the fragrance of His Knowledge..” 2 Cor.2:14-15

  2. BruceC says:

    I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so I may not understand what you are driving at. In my opinion, which could be wrong; your last paragraph could be a slippery slope in that it could be used to excuse forgiveness almost all the time. Also, how would it apply to two distinct groups; unbelievers and our brothers and sisters in Christ? Also, would it not be better to forgive all and leave the distinction up to God? Where do we draw the line as every circumstance may have differences? Would it not be better to just forgive even though it may be extremely hard at times, and just leave the outcome to God?

  3. poohpity says:

    Gee Mart are you trying a different approach? LOL Your voice seems to be muffled in this one.

  4. dlarose says:

    I understand what you’re getting at. I believe that when we show love and pray for those who have caused us pain we are showing the deeper meaning of forgiveness that Christ was talking about. I am an elementary school teacher and I always tell students that asking for forgiveness when you’ve done something wrong helps but you must make things right – change your behaviour.

    When a person causes us pain we should pray for that person but if they are not willing to make things right then that changes the dynamics of your relationship.

    Sometimes people don’t understand that their bad behaviour is causing damage to relationships.

  5. poohpity says:

    I really do not believe there are conditions to forgiveness. I also do feel you can put love and unforgiveness in the same sentence. I guess where the real problem lies is knowing God’s voice in the scripture. Through out the bible God sought out His people even until He let go of His deity and came to show us what He wanted from us. He wanted us to know Him and show mercy because that is what He did for us. UNDESERVED, UNMERITED AND SOMETIMES UNWANTED MERCY. I say unwanted because some choose to wallow in their sin. Matthew 18:21-35 The parable of the unmerciful servant. In verses 21 and 22 Jesus did not say if your brothers asks for forgiveness, He said forgive Him seventy times seven for the same offense.

    The whole point is how can we not forgive when we (I) have been forgiven so much. This to me is without options. Gosh even Isaiah God’s messenger gave this message to Israel even when they did not put God first, God told them “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22. This is just one of many, many times. What is it that we do not understand about “GRACE”.

    I also believe that this one point can push many away from the Love of the Lord. Oh to live without forgiveness is to live without GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. daisymarygoldr says:

    From the Bible I can only think of Judas and the impenitent thief. Did Jesus “lovingly withhold forgiveness” to Judas who never repented… instead being unable to handle the guilt of betraying innocent blood, hanged himself in remorse? Or to the unrepentant thief who if set free would have readily planned his next strategy to scavenge the 30 pieces of silver from off the temple floor?

    As His provision for reconciliation in Jesus Christ, God offers unconditional forgiveness to everyone and we do choose to repent and accept it in order to be restored into a right relationship with Him. So yes, I agree that it is a 2 way process that requires truce making steps to be undertaken by both parties involved only IF both are equally interested to have the relationship restored.

    However, if the guilty party is disagreeable or churlish, then how long would I have to wait for “a change of heart”? What if the offender never realized his wrongdoing or even justifies it as right? I could choose to wait for the rest of my life for a “sorry” that may never materialize! I would then die a miserable person deprived of the joys of living a healthy life (emotionally, mentally and spiritually).

    Therefore, it is the duty of every Christian to forgive and not withhold lovingly or otherwise. Forgiveness itself is the manifestation of “Christ-like Love” and is impossible without the enabling of the Holy Spirit!

  7. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, let’s see if we can work through an issue you raised. It’s true that in Matthew 18:21-22 the Lord talks about forgiving “seventy times seven”– without mention of repentance in those two verses. But in the illustration that follows, the picture is of a servant asking for mercy (v 29). The same is true of the illustration that precedes (18:15-17).

    Also, in a parallel passage of Luke 17:1-10, the Lord says, “If another believer sins, rebuke him; then if he repents, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, forgive him” (v 3-4).

  8. nancyliu says:

    This topic touched me deeply. At the moment when we became christians, we all have to say a prayer that admit to God that we are sinner and ask for His forgivenness. Then out sins are washed clean, and the Holy Spirit came to our heart. I believe that this principle holds on earth. God could just forgive us, all of us and be done with once and for all. But for our own sake He wants us to know how and why we were wrong. It is because He loves us. If we love another human being, no matter that person is a christian or not, our treatment to that person should not be any different. Love that person even when he/she is wrong, but forgive only when he/she is truly sorry about the harm that he/she has created. Boy I love this article, I have come to know a lot of Christian who will tolerate wrong doing and let destrustion continue in the name of ” We should forgive unconditionally.”

  9. pegramsdell says:

    This is my story. I’m hoping you all can help me.
    A pastor (who claimed for years to love me and my family) said some horrible things about one of my children to this child’s best friend, (a member of the church), and this went on along time. I’m sure my pastor thought he was in the right (although I don’t see how that can be) and when I noticed for myself that he really can’t stand the sight of my child, we stopped going there. I told him to stop saying bad things about my child. And then I heard he was saying that my child was never really born again, I again told him to stop saying these things. I don’t know why this happened and I never heard from him or his wife about this matter. No explanation, no defense, nothing. This has been really hard for me. We were members for about 10 years. I know that I should forgive them, and I have, as far as I know. It’s just that I still get angry about it and I still don’t understand how this happened. Maybe, I never will.

  10. dlarose says:

    When does Christ forgive us of our sins? Before or after we ask for forgiveness. He demonstrated his great love towards us by dying on the cross before we repented. Once we repent and confess that we are wrong then we have remission of sins and they are remembered no more.

    I am reminded of what Chuck Swindal said. When we sin Christ still loves us but something happens to our relationship not because of a lack of love but because of our own bad choices. We then should quickly make things right with our Lord and then our relationship which is our life line is restored.

    Through grace we are forgiven unconditionally but let’s not forget that through his grace we also become more like him. This is our sanctification and calling. Christ calls us to follow him and by his grace we are able to do so.

    If my brother sins against me seventy times seven and asks for forgivness each time then I must forgive him. But if a brother sins against me the same number of times without any remorse or consideration then that puts a strain on our relationship.

    It is possible to forgive someone of their wrong completely but because of the circumstances it my be difficult for a relationship to be completely restored.

    I speak as a man.

  11. poohpity says:

    I made a mistake in my earlier post. I meant that you can NOT have love and unforgiveness in the same sentence.

    Mart there are times when someone dies or does not even realize that what they have said or done has caused hurt. In those instances when not even asked for we can choose whether or not to forgive, the best choice is to forgive.

    The illustration of the merciful servant the verses after when the servant asks for mercy and received it yet went around and showed no mercy to those who owed him, again I believe goes back to how can I not forgive when I have been forgiven so much. Like the thief on the cross realized that Jesus had done nothing to deserve death but he had realized who Jesus was and asked for Him (Jesus) to remember him (robber) when He come into His kingdom. In the Luke passage it is speaking of the DUTY we have to restore relationships and reconcile those how have harmed us as we have been reconciled to the Master. It seems that the real issue would be do we offer forgiveness to those who have only asked, or take the initiative to give it whether or not they have asked. Let’s say someone murdered my child and was given the death penalty and never asked me to forgive them. Do I never forgive and hold the anger forever? How about if I went to court and watched the person being sentenced to death yet they never ask for forgiveness, as a child of God, do I go to them because I have something against them and make a choice to say I forgive you for what you have done. I feel that that is undeserved grace.

    As far as confronting sin in a believers life, I feel that in LOVE (seeking their highest good) I would want to ask just exactly what are you doing? These are issues that there is a fine line between restoration and judgment. Trust me I do say things to believers about somethings to help them better understand the bible but in this particular issue it is really worth the discussion because this is a foundation to our beliefs. I have to admit that my beliefs fall into more of a mercy category because that is one of my spiritual gifts so please teach me where I need to change or discuss this further. I am very open to learning!!! :)

  12. daisymarygoldr says:

    Your story is very common to many churches and I can feel your pain. The Pastor is certainly 100% wrong and you did the right thing by parting ways with that church group. In forgiving them, you are not okaying the wrong as right neither it is excusing the pain they have caused you and your family. You are choosing to move on with life by merely handing over the unjust act for God to judge and avenge. By not letting go of it, we are allowing the enemy to play with our emotions. The seething anger will in no way affect the offenders instead it will prevent us from living a normal happy life. Hope this helps…

    The Bible says that those who cause fellow believers to stumble by offending them will be held responsible in judgment. It also says that we, the offended are also responsible to respond with the right attitude of forgiveness, lest it should cost us God’s forgiveness of our own sins (Mark 11:25) that we continuously commit both knowingly or unknowingly, unless someone claims to keep track of every sin to duly confess and repent…

    We readily forgive because it pleases Him and it makes us to move into a deeper level of intimacy with our God to reflect His character. It is not easy and all of us cannot simply forgive and forget. Forgiveness is the only proof of our transformed lives and the unique identity that marks a mature Christian bearing fruits of love!

  13. poohpity says:

    Amen daisymarygoldr!!! Amen dlarose!!!! Amen rdrcomp!!!

    I disagree with the part about loving our enemies doesn’t mean forgiving them. How can you love without forgiveness?
    How does forgiveness condone sin? Help me understand!

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    Here’s another case study.

    In 1Cor 5:1-5 Paul urged the church to separate themselves from a brother (for their good and his). The man, according to Paul, was carrying on an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife.

    In a second and follow-up letter Paul urged the church to now forgive the man because at that point he had repented. The New Living Translation reads like this:

    2Cor 2:4 How painful it was to write that letter! Heartbroken, I cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I wanted you to know how very much I love you.
    5 I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt your entire church more than he hurt me.
    6 He was punished enough when most of you were united in your judgment against him.
    7 Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so discouraged that he won’t be able to recover.
    8 Now show him that you still love him.
    9 I wrote to you as I did to find out how far you would go in obeying me.
    10 When you forgive this man, I forgive him, too. And when I forgive him (for whatever is to be forgiven), I do so with Christ’s authority for your benefit,

  15. poohpity says:

    In the past I have discussed this issue with really no resolution and I still have questions. What I understand about the church in Corinth it was full of immature believers (dah) that there was much division with whom everyone was following and they were very proud of this church. Then Paul told them in their pride they failed to even address this sin of the son having sex with the father’s wife. This baby church was feeling growing pains and feeling better than anybody else. Paul says hey if you are so good why have you let all these things go on. It to me is like those Christians who think of themselves as better than anyone else a superiority complex, when we are all equal. With putting this brother out because of his behavior I understand. But I still understand that the forgiveness given to Him was on the part of the church going to him with comfort and forgiveness, not him coming and asking for it. They showed him they still loved him. Then Paul says verse 9 about seeing if they would be obedient to his direction (test). In the NIV verse 10 reads, “If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, verse 11 in order that satan might not outwit us. So was there loving unforgiveness or suffering the consequences of bad behavior with love and forgiveness? Or are they both the same?

  16. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, I think Paul indicates in his second letter that his concern is that if they don’t forgive the man now, he will be “swallowed up by sorrow.” Seems to indicate that the correction has resulted in a change of heart.

    i.e. 1Cor 5:6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,
    7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.

  17. pegramsdell says:

    Thank you daisymarygldr for listening and understanding.
    I do forgive them, because I know this is pleasing to God.
    We are moving on with the Lord and visiting other churches in the hopes of finding the right one for us. Thank you for your encouragement.

  18. poohpity says:

    I was raped and the man never asked for forgiveness. I was abused both emotionally and physically, I was never asked to forgive them. I have been surgically disfigured in my hip, never asked for forgiveness. My first husband knocked my eye through my eye socket, never asked for forgiveness. My second husband was unfaithful, never asked for forgiveness. The list goes on but I choose to stop here because now I will tell you all that I have done; I caused my parents suffering and anguish because of drug and alcohol abuse, I gave up custody of my first born, I stabbed someone, I sold drugs and harmed others, all my children were born to a drug addicted mother, prostitution and my list goes on.

    Luke 7
    46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

    48Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

    I choose to forgive because I have been forgiven so very much. You guys can do what you choose to do but for me I choose to forgive because this Man/God suffered a horrible death for my forgiveness and that is what I cling to, not just cling but honor and I will bring Glory to His name by giving forgiveness no matter what has happened to me, is happening to me or will happen to me. Amen!! :)

  19. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, I’m sure I speak for others when I express appreciation for your overwhelming, heartfelt, gratitude to God. You are an inspiration to all of us– while none of us would wish any of what you’ve endured on anyone.

    I love the verses you quote!!!

    If I post once more this week on the subject– it is meant to add to the spirit you express– not to subtract from it!!

  20. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, just wanted to let you know that all that breaking you went through is letting out from within you the fragrance of God’s GRACE that is greatly pleasing both to Him and all of us here!

  21. poohpity says:

    The Lord I serve is never unwilling to forgive because He died on the cross for past sins of mankind, present and future.

  22. poohpity says:

    I have to say also that there are many who I have asked to forgive me and they have never done so. I have walked away with a grieved heart because of the anger that they feel toward me and even repulsion but I can not change what I have done, I can only change what I do in the future. Those people I pray for that they may experience the freedom of forgiveness.

  23. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, you’re playing hardball :-). So guess it is my turn at bat– probably to swing and miss :-).

    Given your illustration, I think the question is, what is the loving thing to do? If it is to relieve the debt, then that is what our Lord would ask of us. If relieving the debt would obviously indulge bad character, then the loving thing may be to work out a reasonable schedule of payments.

    If on the other hand, I break into your house and steal your money, I cannot imagine that it would be loving of you to “forgive” me of legal responsibility.

    This is not a black and white issue. I’m just trying to say that, as I understand forgiveness or any other principle of Scripture, wisdom and a desire for Christlikeness will ask– what is the motive? What does love (seeking the highest good) of the other call for? I don’t think it can just be a matter of what do I have to do to get the anger out of my stomach. Even if that’s part of it– seems to me that it is only part.

  24. poohpity says:

    Oh!! Now I get it! If a heart truly seeks forgiveness, restitution or repentance would be part of it. Because forgiveness can be self serving depending on the heart. I was reading on that wikipedia or whatever it is, the differences in other religions on forgiveness. I also read about different psychological benefits and counseling suggestion on why to forgive. It was very insightful. It opens a bunch of further questions. Gosh how very neat it is that God truly sees our motivation behind forgiveness but our future actions show if we truly have repented.

  25. Aries says:

    Nowadays I’m struggling to forgive some people in my family. They did something bad and never admit it even when I said to them about it. They always have excuse and never say sorry.
    In contrary they said I have no love. Please pray for me so I could pass through my struggle. Thanks in advance.
    God bless you all here for the write. :D

  26. Gena says:

    Aries, I have experienced the flip side of what you’ve gone through. I’ve made a few mistakes with family members who to this day even with an apology STILL harbor resentment and anger towards me. Yet they love me! Then almost in the same breath, their eyes cloud over and start it up again! It’s gotten so bad that it took a death in the family to help me realize just how deep the anger was. Guess what my latest infraction was?! For mother’s day I sent my mom some custom made greeting cards to share with her friends or family and I accidently forgot to include the envelopes! It sent her over the edge literally!!! Even tho’ I wrote an apology, she responded as if all was forgiven, but in a letter writes that she hoped I felt just a little guilty. Then she had a health situation over the summer which caused her to lose awareness of what was going on. As soon as she got well, she wanted to remind me again of my infraction! I still love my mom, but wow how am I ever going to get back in her good graces unless she forgives and FORGETS? :)

  27. 3horseman3 says:

    As fellow humans we attempt to abide in harmony and peace within this old world. As we look out upon the landscape day in and day out we see the inhumanity of man against man; the hostilities, jealousies and rage of one against another. We shake our heads in bewilderment and sadness. Then, quite out of the blue, something happens or is done to or said to us by one we know or work with. What we must understand is that a lot of things done and spoken are done so in a spirit of pride, arrogance and ignorance. The one who has wronged us may believe they do nothing to cause us anguish and pain. But this is where those three words- pride, arrogance, ignorance- enter the play. We must be able to overlook the pride and the arrogance and the ignorance in order to move on in the pathways of our appointed lives. A forgiving heart enables us to do this. Prayer plays a significant role here. We pray the Father for understanding as to the motives and hidden agendas of the other person. We may never comprehend what spurred that person onward, but God sees what we, as mere mortals, cannot. In most instances forgiveness will not manifest itself immediately within us. It will require a period of minutes, hours, days, weeks, even years. But until we can forgive fully, the spirit of unforgiveness will enslave us and imprison us in mind-numbing incarceration and wreak havoc within our lives and relationships. May God bless each and everyone.

  28. poohpity says:


    There is nothing wrong with everyone expressing their opinions because they are like noses everyone has one and they are all different. It is just the name calling that I dislike. I also am a Bible teacher and up in years but names really hurt. It would be nice if your “leg-pulling” is causing distance in your relationships that may be something to look at. Sarcasm is hidden anger that comes spilling out to others. I have a very sharp tongue and am able to throw daggers with the best of them trust me from my past but in our church today it would be nice to support each other in unity and leave the flaming arrows for satan.

  29. poohpity says:

    Forgive me for causing you hurt, that was not my intention, my thoughts were for healing. Please continue to talk I enjoy your thoughts and everybody who posts here. What I said was totally taken out of context and I am at a loss of how to explain. Again forgive me for causing you hurt.

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    Please do not apologize, not hurt by anything that you said. Was perplexed to be misunderstood, but then I know that emotionally that day must have been a long and hard one for you.

    Oh! Wait a min…in practically applying the latest lesson learned here I must say, “Bring forth fruits of repentance and then thou shalt be forgiven”! No! No more sarcasm and no more leg pulling… thank you for helping me see my faults!

  31. poohpity says:


    That day was not emotionally taxing because that is my testimony. I have given it many times in front of churches and the people that 20 years ago prayed me into the Lord’s hands all know what I was and who I am today. The ugly has turned into something good. It would be nice to say all the ugly is gone but I still got some ugly to contend with and always will have but God ain’t done with US yet. I had no intention of pointing out your faults, you stated in an earlier posts that you felt alienated by some because of your words.

  32. poohpity says:


    Where are you, I miss you!!!

  33. lisacrum says:

    I believe I understand exactly where you’re coming from, Mart. It’s not so much a withholding of forgiveness as it is an issue of mandated accountability. We can release someone from hurts in our past, but at the same time we can step away from the line of fire that has given them free reign to abuse us or take advantage of us…that’s not unforgiveness! As a matter of fact, sometimes distancing oneself from the abuse enables us to finally begin the healing and forgiveness process…plus it shifts the action back to the offending person to acknowledge his/her wrong. Whether they own up to their misdeeds may determine whether there is a relationship in the future, but at least this allows wounds to begin to heal. And as always, forgiveness is most needed by the one doing the forgiving…for closure and for a right conscience before God.

    I like to think of it this way…when we sin, we get forgiveness from our Heavenly Father as soon as we confess and repent. However, there are certain consequences set in motion because of that sin, which may or may not go away no matter how repentent and changed we are. It has nothing to do with God’s forgiveness.

    Still, we should always be very humble before God in matters where it is in our power to bind and loose. The God who gives us the ability to choose also knows our most secret motives, sometimes even better than we know them ourselves. We should be resolved in our heart to, regardless of our own personal feelings, strive to please the Lord. I believe He can give us wisdom to know the difference and the grace to act on what He reveals to us.

  34. lisacrum says:

    …Plus, even as children of God, we can set conditions for which someone must adhere before we open a door of relationship to him/her. We freely do that when we’re screening others for potential friendship and companionship (and even business relationships), yet we seem reluctant to express a need for establishing boundaries after we’ve already got someone in our lives.

    It’s possible to love someone unconditionally but still place restrictions on how the extent to which you allow that person to be involved in your life. There’s a big difference between showing basic human kindness to people and letting others run over us.

    Sometimes we have to set a permanent distance between ourselves and the person who has wronged us…perhaps it’s a situation of rape, incest, etc. You’re not going to let Uncle Charlie babysit your children if he’s been finally released from prison after molesting you years before. You can have forgiven him in your heart, be healed from the damage, but you do not have to prove your forgiveness by allowing him the potential to go back and commit that crime. Doesn’t mean that you hate Uncle Charlie, doesn’t mean you don’t pray for him, but you’ve mandated accountability for his actions. That mandated accountability, that boundary in your relationship, is not a product of unforgiveness…it’s a consequence of his actions.

  35. gwenevans says:

    When I was a new believer, I thought I didn’t have to forgive someone unless they apologized to me and that it was okay with God, that I would not be held accountable for my actions because they were not confessing and repenting. Not so. With my unforgiveness came feelings of anger and resentment towards the one who I would not forgive. I knew that it wasn’t right to feel this way. I was saved! I had the Holy Spirit living in me and through me! So I was indeed being held accountable for my unforgiveness. That’s the way God planned it. He made us to be miserable if we don’t forgive. Especially believers! That’s what the Holy Spirit is for! At least that’s the way it is for me. And I thank God for it.

  36. graceus says:

    Mart, I appreiate your message noted in todays Our Daily Bread, “The Chain of Ungrace”, from Matthew 6. Lest we forget, we are not the judge & jury, though some of us may in fact be appointed such in our worldly walk of wisdom in this life. Striving to be more like Jesus than the sinful nature we have all born into is indeed challenging. Learning to understand what scripture has prescribed for us, as well as learning to to be receptive to be led by our Holy Spirit in our daily walk, proves to be a significant factor in our new lives as maturing Christians. With all of the subjective opinions offered on your aforermentioned question, might we find more truth in God’s revelation by testing our concerns with His written word as it’s been inspired in scripture for us? Is not our faith in Christ in question when we begin laying down our own agenda as to what we say we’ll tolerate in others, & that which we won’t? What sets us apart from the worldly wise-men; is it not what Jesus calls us into? I appreciate your noting these 3-pragmatic reasons for forgiving, as they are indeed what Mat 6:14,15 reveal so clearly. Might we be more considerate of Christ’s compassion for our (all men & women)changed hearts as He was led by His persecuters to the cross?

  37. Justthinking says:

    I have had to deal with this dilemma many times and have always struggled with what is Christ asking me to do. What I have settled on as the answer to the question is closely related to what Christ did, I think. He stood ready always to forgive unconditionally the sin, but the receiver of the forgiveness had to realize his own need for forgiveness before it could become a reality to him, as soon as he did, and acknowledged it, it was given freely. This is what I believe is asked of us, because of the need of the person needing the forgiveness is of utmost importance to his own peace with God, it is a loving act to wait to give the gift of forgiveness when the person realizes he/she needs it. I don’t think Christ wants us to live in ignorance of our sins against others by people excusing, or letting us off the hook for the sake of “fake peace”.Although we can hold our peace and act lovingly to people who have hurt us, it still should be confronted at some place in time for the sake of the person who sinned against us as well as for the sake of the person sinned against.
    I think Christ played this out many times in Scripture when he asked pertinent questions to people pertaining to their understanding of their need of the Truth about him and about themselves. Justthinking….

  38. balesgen says:

    we should forgive people right away because Jesus forgave us of so much. so what right do we have to not forgive someone ?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.