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To Forgive or Not to Forgive

If the Bible is full of “studies in contrast” and “truth in tension” rather than “self-contradictions and discrepancies,” another example is what the Scriptures variously say about forgiveness.

Some passages indicate that one mark of a follower of Christ is to forgive those who harm us (Matt 6:14-15; Col 3:13).

Other texts make it clear that we are to forgive those who admit their wrong and have a change of heart regarding what they have done (Luke 17: 1-4; Matt 18:15-17).

As with so many “studies in contrast” the answer seems to lie in a “both/and” rather than “either/or” approach.

For openers, what seems certain is that–at the very least— the New Testament teaches us to forgive those who want our forgiveness and admit their wrongs (while still giving consideration to appropriate consequences).

The next consideration may be to ask, “What do love and truth ask of us in this situation?” If there is “a time to forgive” and “a time not to forgive,” the appropriate response may come into into focus as we ask, “In light of what has happened, what response will seek the highest good of all involved?”

Am sure we agree that a spirit of revenge, bitterness, unresolved anger, or a determination to return wrong for wrong do not reflect well on our relationship to Christ in any circumstance.

Behavior motivated by honest love is always called for—even toward our enemies.

From his Cross Jesus gave us his own example:

  1. Of those who didn’t understand what they were doing, he said, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)
  2. He forgave one of the criminals who shared with him the agony of execution. To the one who believed in him and asked for his mercy, he said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)
  3. He gave no such assurance of mercy to the other criminal who mocked him without regret.

In summary, seems to me that we can work through the question of “to forgive or not to forgive”  by considering the following issues: Wise love will show us when to overlook a matter (Luke 23:34); and when to hold others accountable for the kind of wrongs that need to be owned up to—for their own sake and others (Luke 14:1-4; Matt 18:15-17). In the process, our own experience of the forgiveness of Christ will prompt us to forgive those who ask for our forgiveness (Matt 18:23-33)—without ignoring necessary consequences; and rolling over onto God those matters of judgment that belong to him alone (Rom 12:19).

Hope we can again weigh the balance of texts together. Some of us have touched on this subject a few times in the past with mixed results…

note: took pictures a couple of years ago at a “first century Roman army dramatization” in Jerash, Jordan.

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124 Responses to “To Forgive or Not to Forgive”

  1. carlj says:

    It is interesting to look at forgiveness from this perspective. When I consider forgiveness, I extend forgiveness not for the sole benefit of others but for my own benefit. I leave it up to God to choose how to deal with individuals who have directly or indirectly offended or wronged me.

    I look at forgiveness for my own benefit because I have begun to look at people as having a choice of being a survivor or a person of grace. A survivor would be someone who harbors resentment, grudges, or anger as the result of being hurt and spends their life responding and reacting to life situations from these resentments, grudges, and anger. A person of grace would be someone who chooses to forgive in order to release themselves from the chains of resentment, grudges, or anger.


  2. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Mart said
    From his Cross Jesus gave us his own example:

    1. Of those who didn’t understand what they were doing, he said, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)

    2. He forgave one of the criminals who shared with him the agony of execution. To the one who believed in him and asked for his mercy, he said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43)

    3. He gave no such assurance of mercy to the other criminal who mocked him without regret.

    I know only one thing to be true here!

    “Father forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us”

    The Roman solders who nailed Jesus to the cross had no real Idea of who He was. They put a sign over His head saying He was the King of the Jews, but that was really to insult the Pharisees and High Priest.
    Jesus forgave them.
    He would also have forgiven both criminals if they had both turned to Him. But one showed no remorse and perrished.
    King David hardened his heart and did not realise the extent of his sin until Nathan told him directly to his face. Then David was full of remorse and grief and turned to God for forgiveness.
    Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

    If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
    The last line I will repeat:

    and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
    That is God’s promise to us.

    It seems, to be forgiven we must be forgiving and also acknowledge our sin and turn away from it. (Repent)

    No Repentance No Forgiveness!


  3. SFDBWV says:

    Wondering about all the emotions that bring about the need for forgiveness.

    Jesus ask that the Father forgive “them” for they know not what they do.

    The whole reason that Christ was there nailed to the cross, was foreordained by the Father, and carried out by the unwitting for what appears to be, the will of God.

    So is Christ asking the Father to forgive thoes people for doing the will of God?

    Or is Christ speaking into the past as well as into the future and asking God to forgive all past sinners and future sinners for placing Him in the posture of having to be sacrificed for their sins and therefore returning the sons and daughters of Adam back into fellowship with God?

    So love is the reason for the Cross. Because of the disobediance of man. Love equals forgiveness.

    More to come…


  4. SFDBWV says:

    Our friend Ron Ben Yaakov speaks about being a police officer. There are others here who were policemen and worked in the enforcement of the law. Many of us have seen the darkest nature of man inflicted upon each other.

    How easy it is for one of us to tell the mother or father of a child who has been abducted tortured and murdered, to forgive the person responsible.

    While Matthew was in the hospital and rehabilitation system, I saw plenty of people whoes life was forever changed because of a drunk driver.

    One name always stands out as the face of evil. Adolf Hitler. The holocost and attempted extinction of the Jew pales when compared to the millions that were killed because of WWII. Are we then asked to forgive and forget? Can we?

    As far as the east is from the west, is what God says to us when He explains forgiveness.

    We spoke long ago about the difference between an insult and an act of violence. Turning the other cheek when slapped by, as an insult, is different than standing by and allowing someone to murder your family.

    Once again, God shows me I fail in comparision to Him in His ability to forgive and forget. I have found that I can forgive, but that forgetting takes a great deal of time. As well as not being constantly reminded of the offence and the continued agrivation from the offender.

    It would seem ,as Mart said, that forgiveness is easier when both parties want to. As opposed to the situation when only one party seeks peace.

    It is still sin, that is the cause of a need for forgiveness. Big or small. Our sinless world is the one to come, not the one we are forced to live in.


  5. poohpity says:

    I used to teach about forgiveness in classes and lately the Lord has really been testing me on whether I practice what I preach. It seems when I first started seeking God through the Scriptures I recognized how very much I needed forgiveness and how could I not be willing to forgive others.

    As time has gone by and I have looked at the wrong others have done I was not as focused on myself and the wrong I was doing. Like being judgmental, critical, gossiping, anger and self righteousness. This year the Lord has been teaching me to refocus on the things that I do against Him. I was upset about my church not seeing that I was hurting, at times hungry, lonely, many other things and not comforting me until I realized that God wanted to do that Himself.

    I became angry at my family during and after the death of my mom. The stealing, name calling, and just complete disrespect of her and her belongings. I was so busy being angry at them I failed to look at my response to their behaviors, which was very ungodly. I could justify me behavior because I was being treated badly and mom left her estate in my hands. Nobody paid attention to me who was there for her and helped all the time. Ah-ha there it is the selfish part.

    When I realized that my church, family and community had injured me, maybe unknowingly, I reacted instead of acting like a Christian. I reacted with anger which turned to depression because I was not being treated like I thought I should be treated. All self centered stuff. They did not deserved to be forgiven nor did I but God in His infinite wisdom told me to look at the harm I had done and so I am in the process of forgiving because I have been forgiven so much.

    This all wraps around itself so beautifully that it turns into a thread that is woven into our tapestry of life. How can I read the bible everyday with anger seething out of me? I can’t!! I am in the process of forgiving and unlike God who can forgive so easily and then toss the offense as far is the east from the west, it is a process for me. It is a lot easier when I realize my part in the equation and I do not focus on someone else.

    I am not responsible for anyone’s behavior but my own and it is God whom I sin against and others. I want to be forgiven and who am I that I should not give anyone else the chance to obtain that forgiveness for themselves.

    Forgive me for the length of this post. I know they are to be short but I had to share my sin and struggles with my friends. Thank you for listening.

    Love Deborah

  6. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thank you for sharing Deborah.

    I was angry with my sisters when my mother was ill about 4 years before she died, they just didn’t seem to care about her. I did’t talk with one sister for five years and it caused me more harm than it did her.
    I also have felt a lack of love from my old church. But in reality I think they were just trying to show me the right direction, as Ron Ben Yaakov has done for me this weekend. I to have been hungry and lonely and have prayed for there to be a knock at the door or for the phone to ring.
    You said:
    “unlike God who can forgive so easily and then toss the offense as far is the east from the west, it is a process for me.”

    God does not forgive lightly, it cost Him a great price and a lot of suffering. He just makes it look easy, whereas we have to grapple with our flesh and pride.
    Again thanks for sharing!

  7. poohpity says:

    Another thing is not to dwell on the wrong. I had to stop telling everyone what happened and not speak of it anymore because each time I talked about it feelings are brought up again. It is really good to dwell on the positive things in others and the good around us. That is very beneficial for forgiveness and gratitude because God uses everything to our good.

  8. rokdude5 says:

    There were terrible things I did in my past with no way of going back to reconcile since I have no idea where these folks are these days though I know some have departed this life. Am I doomed?

    On the flip side of the coin, some folks have done harm towards me yet very few of them have apologize for their mis-deeds. I just forgive then anyway for if God have forgave them, then who am I not to?

    Bear in mind, forgiveness is not a feeling….its a mental choice. God didnt forgive us just because He feels like it.

    These days I try to keep my errs toward others to a minimum. Even though we cause harm towards one another, there are consequences for our sins even with a forgiving heart.

    But this illustrates the kind of God we worship. For without forgiveness, then how loving of a God do we have? Forgiveness is the ultimate form of love.

    Thank you Lord!! RJ

  9. daisymarygoldr says:

    Good pictures and I’m sure this though-provoking post will help all your readers to weigh in on this topic in the light of the scriptures!

    As for me, I do remember all those nightmarish discussions as if it were just yesterday… this little head of mine will never forget them till the day I die! The Bible is very clear about: “To Forgive or Not to Forgive” and Jesus has set a perfect example for us to follow.

    And so, there is nothing much for me to add to what I had shared earlier about forgiveness but to simply reiterate what I firmly believe… always to simply forgive—unconditionally!

    If the offending party repents which means to turn around from their error then they are restored back to enjoy a right relationship with me once again. If they do not then it is to their disadvantage that they miss out on all the love and goodness which I always have for them—unconditionally!

  10. Hisgirl4life says:

    Forgiveness is an incredible gift from God. It was a precious gift to all when Christ died on a cross for our sinfulness, and it is a gift we bestow upon others when we choose to forgive. God calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven. (Matt. 6:14-15).

    There is, however, (as Jeremiah and Daisy mentioned) the mention of repentance and reconciliation, a turning away from sin and reconciling relationship. Genuine repentence and the desire to reconcile requires a sincere remorse and sorrow. When that genuine repentence is accepted, forgiven and grieved over, relationship can be restored. But even when that does not happen, we are still called to forgive. God speaks of repentance and restoration throughout his word.

    I am always amazed when God is brought into the media through some horrific event. A parent or loved one that is grieving from loss, wondering why, will comment they believe God will grant them the strength to forgive. It brings great glory to God!

    Yes, forgiveness is a choice. It is not always received or given. Sadly, repentance and reconciliation doesn’t always occur. God hates sin, but he loves the sinner. He calls us to do the same. All of his commands to us are summed up beautifully in Romans 13:9. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Sometimes this is occurs through loving discipline; sometimes in letting go and allowing and leaving the consequences of rebellion and sin where they should be left…in God’s hands.

  11. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. Thank you Mart for taking the time to prime our minds about the gift of forgiveness. I’ll mention that later, but one thing we must all remember: Confession of sin, in this case, un-forgiveness, is not and occasional event for a believer, but a continuing lifestyle.

    It’s only natural for us to rack-our-brains, wondering, “Who needs my forgiveness? or, who needs to confess their bitterness towards me?” These are legitimate questions, which deserve legitimate answers, and those answers are all written in God’s Word.

    When does it all begin? That is, when do we confess our sins, especially, un-forgiveness? It all begins with the exposure of our sin; and we do sin! This exposure sometimes comes by the Word of God, perhaps by a deep-inner conviction by the Spirit of God, or perhaps through the insight of another person: This blog is a good tool for that: OOOOOH! :-(; Owwww! :-(; huhhhh! :-( – that hurts! This the way we feel when we get convicted, right?

    For many years, I don’t know how many: When you get my age, time really slips by. Do I hear an amen? If you answer that, we’ll know you’re not a young pup LOL!!!!

    Anyhow, for many years I have learned by the Holy Spirit to live with the mind-set that King David expressed in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” I’m not saying you have to do what I’m doing, but I know it works, because it’s ordained by God’s Spirit.

    Once the Holy Spirit turns on the search light, if you will, this is when our sins are exposed. This is when confession follows; in the first place, to the LORD, and then, as necessary, to others.

    I have much more to say, but I want to take-up a lot of room on this blog. I’ll share later :-).

    Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  12. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I’m sorry. I meant to say, “I DON’T want to take-up a lot of room on this blog.” No, I DON’T want to….LOL!!!

  13. jjhis says:

    Ron Ben, Amen!

    I have shared of my family’s caring for my 92 year-old mom. Please allow me to share both a prayer request for her and us as well as comment on “to forgive or not to forgive”. Most of the days mom is quoting scripture, singing praises to the Lord and expressing her love to her family. However, she spends some time recalling past sins done to her(both real and imagined)and what emerges reveals a bitter spirit toward those who have hurt her. I/we are concerned for my mom’s salvation as reflected in her lack of forgiveness since Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”. While I realize that both the stroke she suffered as well as dementia from the aging process can be offered as an explanation for her behavior, the Holy Spirit alone can convict her and bring true repentance and reconciliation. He has convicted me that I am not the Holy Spirit, though He resides in me, and rather than trying to point out her sins to her, to just love mom and pray for her. Proverbs 10:12 says “…love covers all sins”.
    Thanks for your prayers.


  14. foreverblessed says:

    That is a real problem! I am seeing a lady in an old peoples home, she is very depressed, and recalling all the bad things that have happened in her life, she feels thrown out by the society, we as a nation have put her away, so she sees it.
    I told God, she can not die like that, that would be miserable.
    Nevertheless God is showing me to go to her anyway. He tells me just to see her. He told me not to pray for her as yet, but to remember how God has been gracious to me, when I was depressed. So here I am reflecting how I have been, and more an more realise how patient God was with me, and how forgiving. How endlessly forgiving, how far He has put my misery away from me. So how God is unfolding His way to this old lady I do not know, but if He could get me out of the pit, He can also get her out of it.
    Praise God for His lovingkindness, for His mercy.
    Romans 11:31b ..in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.

  15. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Jim. We will certainly pray for your mother, for her to enjoy God’s presence while she remains here on earth. There are times when we wonder about people; whether they are saved or not saved. If I – and I’m being totally honest – had a 92 year-old mother quoting God’s Word, as well as singing praises to the LORD, including, expressing her love for her family, I wouldn’t spend too much time fretting over whether she’s saved or not saved.

    You are right about the Holy Spirit alone convicting her and bringing her to the place where she confesses the sin of un-forgiveness. The upcoming additions I want to add to this blog will answer some questions in your mind about your concern for her eternal welfare. Meanwhile, we’ll pray for her, that God will minister to her heart.

    I hope I didn’t say anything to spoil your day. I believe Mom’s going to Heaven. That’s my conviction without ever meeting you or her. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t share with her about God’s forgiveness, as well as the gift He’s given to us to forgive.

    Blessings in the LORD of lords, and King of kings,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  16. kingsdaughter says:

    Forgiveness for a Believer is a condition of the heart…a readiness to be able to forgive. My son died by “suicide” 8mos.ago and we can only speculate about many things since the sheriff dept is not willing to cooperate with our request to reopen the case. Our son has never attempted or made threats before. He was separated from his alcoholic wife who was intimate with his best friend. We believe he was murdered by them since the investigation was fouled and those who conducted the investigation were negligent in having the GPR done on all three(our son, his best friend and his wife) there. I say all of this to let you know how difficult this has been on me as a professing Christian. As far as forgiveness…I have forgiven those who I hold responsible. As said in a previous post, “forgiveness is an action not a feeling.” I have spoken it to Jesus. Now, as far as forgetting….I am flesh with a heart of a mother…I will NEVER forget the fact that I had a son and all the suspicions surrounding his death. I will never be able to do this as a human. I would have to be in a coma to completely dismiss all that I know. If the Holy Spirit will take away this memory then so be it..I will be all too happy to give up the pain and agony.

    And too, my question about Jesus on the cross…”Forgive them Father, they know not what they do…” Could “they” be us…not knowing what we do…because I doubt all of us can remember every single offense we have ever committed to ask forgiveness of..could that be a general statement about the righteous blood of Christ forgiving ALL of our sins? And of course, after we have the Holy Spirit dwell in us we are made conscious of our wrongs so that we can reconcile our sins and confess…but what if we die before we get to confess a certain sin? What about my son if he did do this thing? Is he not saved as a professing Christian??? Thank you for your considerations.


  17. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I’ve been thinking about some things I used to preach about when I was pastoring, as well as witnessing to the public. I used to witness a lot in my patrol unit. You see, I had a captive audience many times as I was headed to the city jail for booking prisoners; many, many, times when I transported people to the county jail, as well as conducting evangelistic rallies :-).

    What do I remember? Since I was heavily involved in the deliverance ministry during my police days and pastoring full-time, which many people negate as old-fashion, not for this day, as well as a number of other criticisms, I remember preaching on two things that bind Christians. That being unforgiveness and the occult.


  18. jjhis says:

    Thank you, Ron Ben, for your comments and your prayers. Mom is blind and still believes the Lord will heal her and restore her sight. We know that He will, though the first face see may see again would be His(praise His Name!). She often blames the doctor for prescribing medicine that caused her stroke; however, she does not want to accept the fact the Lord has allowed both her blindness and the stroke for reasons that we may never know until we get to heaven. That is my main concern—for us to be together with Jesus in heaven. We thank Him for the forgiveness of sins that He alone purchased for us with His blood and death. Oswald Chambers MUHH devotion of Nov. 21 really speaks to the heart of His love and forgiveness.
    Shalom to all.


  19. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I left off in describing the two things that bind Christians: Unforgiveness and the Occult. Since both subjects are so widespread, and since we’re discussing unforgiveness, that’s what I want to focus on.

    What I am going to share with this group is not fictional. What I’m going to share is biblical. My writings all come from personal experiences as the LORD taught Me the principles that Satan uses to bind Christians. Therefore, I want to start with the LORD’s Prayer. Now some people think the LORD’s Prayer is found in the Matthew and Luke, but this is not true. These Scriptures give us a model prayer. The LORD’s Prayer is found in John 17:1-26. You may not agree, but that’s okay. This is what I believe since the LORD spent much time praying for His Church in John 17.

    Okay, we see the model prayer written in Matthew and Luke. I would like to point everyone in the direction of Matthew 6:5-15, in particular, verse 14-15, where Yeshua said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Now, in Luke’s Gospel, 11:1-4, especially verse 4, Yeshua’s model prayer says, “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”

    To reiterate, as I mentioned about the LORD’s Prayer being found in John 17:1-26, we see that Yeshua is the great intercessor. There in these verses, we also find the definition of eternal life and His prayer for restoration to former glory. In addition, there’s a prayer for the Church, prayer that the Church may be kept pure, prayer for the unity of the Church, and the exaltation of the Church. I know, much of this doesn’t seem to relate to the topic today. Hang on to your hats!


  20. bubbles says:

    Deb, again thank you for your kind words of wisdom.
    You’re like the Proverbs 31 woman who ‘speaks with gentle wisdom and in your tongue is the law of kindness.’ Several years ago, I was hurt by someone. The hurt/pain was so deep, it caused me physical pain. My physical heart ached.

    I took this to the Lord, but coninued to dwell on it. Like you said, dwelling on the pain inflicted on us is not the right response. I have often wondered if the Lord is MORE concerned about OUR response to hurt than by who/what they did to hurt us. . . I will probably never receive an apology from this other person. That’s okay. Now, when that hurt does cross my mind rarely, it doesn’t bother me. It is what it was. I had to take this to the Lord again and again and again. He does help us deal with hurts. What the other person did to hurt me no longer matters. Maybe the enemy tempts us to dwell on things that are not true, honest, just, pure lovely, full of virtue, or of good report. He delights in us not having peace.

    Like Deb said, the Holy Spirit has to control our minds/hearts when we have been hurt. He does help us. I am sure that I have caused the Lord’s heart to ache much more than what my hurt was. I’m sure we cannot begin to comprehend the pain that humans inflict upon our Lord. Yet, He forgives me. God’s mercy is truly amazing. He is so good to us, and we definitely don’t deserve it. His mercy endureth forever and ever.

  21. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. Returning to the model prayer in Matthew 6:5-15, we find an amazing statement by Yeshua. See also Matthew 6:12, where it says, “And forgive us our debts (trespasses) as we forgive our debtors (those who trespass against us). In place of the word “debts,” we can say “sins.” “As we forgive our debtors” can be read “with the same measure as we forgive our debtors” (those who sin against us).

    Unforgiveness is an ongoing occurrence in life. Do you agree? By way of illustration, there will always be people who are hurt, despised, disappointed, which includes ALL OF US. Isn’t this true? You see, with these occurrences in mind, there’s also that motorist who is riding your rear bumper on the freeway or who beats you to a parking space in the parking lot of your favorite grocery store: “You dirty rat…grrrrrrrrrr!” Guess what? We have to forgive them! Then, another incident that usually pops its head up are heated discussions that erupt between husbands and wives for what they did or did not do. Yep, we have to forgive! Then, you’ll have to forgive your boss for being short with you or blaming you for something you did not do. You have to forgive him or her! Most people will say, “How can I forgive someone who does the same thing to me over and over again?” The problem is, some people will forgive when they feel good and in tune with God but will not forgive when they “don’t feel like it.” Sorry to disappoint anyone here, but it doesn’t work that way.

    This is the key point: Forgiveness is not an emotion. Think about it! In other words, you don’t have to be in the right mood, or feeling religious to forgive.


  22. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I totally agree that the Lords Prayer is John 17:1-26
    This is Jesus as our High Priest and intercessor.
    Getting late here so I am off to bed, but will be eager to read you comments on this first thing tomorrow.


  23. SFDBWV says:

    Dale, my deepest of sympathies for you and your family, concerning the loss of your son.

    Yes, Christ spoke and speaks to us from the cross.

    I am sure to be disagreed with, Dale, but I am a firm believer in once saved always saved.

    If it were up to people to lose their salvation, yes their would be plenty of us in trouble but it is not up to us. It is up to God.

    Romans 8:37 ” For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to to come, nor height, nor debth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


  24. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. Hurts and disappointments, if not dealt with through forgiveness, will usually drive a person into becoming a critical person. Ouch! We will first look for our best friend or someone we think will listen sympathetically to us as we say, “Do you know what he/she did to me?” Okay, here’s the problem: Your friend will then tell you how justified you are to be upset and assure you that they would feel the same way, were they in your shoes. This will make us feel so righteous, we may even repeat the story several times (rub it in good) as we hang onto that unforgiveness and make it part of us.

    Again, forgiveness is not an emotion. Whether we forgive or not does not hinge on how right we were and how wrong they were. The way to forgive is by AN ACT OF OUR WILL. WE CHOOSE TO FORGIVE WHETHER WE FEEL LIKE IT OR NOT! Why? Because Yeshua said so.

    God’s Word makes it quite clear that when Yeshua mentioned forgiveness, He did not make it optional, nor did He instruct us to forgive when our feelings were in the right order. No, no, a thousand times no! It is a commandment and it is for our own good, as we will see later as I share these experiences with you.

    Does it matter whether or not they deserve our forgiveness? Can we “let our conscience be our guide”? The Bible makes it clear that our hearts are in enmity to God, and our hearts are desperately wicked. Remember: Our conscience is not as reliable as the Word of God!

    I’ll come back later. I have a lot to share with you.

    Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  25. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    I have no children so have no idea what pain you are going through. My best friend of 35 years has recently lost two sons and I shared the pain with her as much as I was able.
    She had no doubt that both her sons were saved, even though the younger was an alcoholic and in a coma when he died, caused by a massive blow to the head that we will never know the answer to.
    I agree with Steve, once saved always saved, and I pray you get some answers to what happened.
    Nothing can seperate us from God’s Love.

  26. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Dale. My heart swells with pain and grief as I think about the pain and grief you are experiencing. Regarding the Sheriff’s department, if they refuse to reopen the case, there are other options to consider. Depending on what state you now reside, and you don’t need to tell us, you might consider contacting the Attorney General and explain to him or his liaison about this case. In the state I live in, I had to contact our Attorney General who acted without any hesitation. There are so many stipulations to consider when it comes to laws and regulations, so, you might want to pray about this option and see where the LORD leads you. Please let us know what progress has taken place.

    I too have experienced the loss of close relatives, and it takes time to get over the weight, but Yeshua is good at that. Always feel free to share your heart and hurts with us. We all have them, and we all choose to care for one another. We love you.

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  27. saled says:

    kingsdaughter, I think you might be right about “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” So often, we don’t know what we do. We don’t stop to consider the impact of our actions. A long time ago someone told me that his marital infidelity had ‘killed’
    his wife. And when she later made the same mistake, she ‘killed’ him. By killed, he meant something more than a deep hurt. Maybe it doesn’t matter who committed the act of taking your son’s life: the killing was already done. When I was young, I was very careless about how my actions would impact people. I confess it as sin, but I wonder if the word ‘trespass’
    might more accurately describe this not knowing what we do. Like others here have said, our hope is in God. With him all things are possible.

  28. kingsdaughter says:

    Thank you Steve and Bob…yes, I believe “no one can take us from God’s hand!” He will never forsake us…His love endures forever. I am so glad that man does not make the decisions about who is righteous “enough” for Heaven. “He that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37 As Charles Spurgeon says, “What sayest thou to this oh trembling feeble mind? Is not this a precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One who will treat thee well for a little while, and send thee about thy business but He will receive thee and make you His bride…” (Morning and Evening Devotion)

    “We are never “good” enough…I appreciate the comments and prayers….we very sad in this flesh..even though we know our son is in Heaven..he is not with us. We are selfish. Thank you, Claudia for your thoughtfulness. I am at the right place. I appreciate this forum…My love to you all. God is in this place….


  29. Hisgirl4life says:

    So many good comments on forgiveness…so much blessing from fellow believers!

    Dale, I pray you may find peace in leaving this in God’s hands and allowing him to bring about healing in your life. There is no greater loss than that of a spouse or child. A book that helped me is “Recovering from the Losses of Life.” Grieving is a process we all go through at some point in our lives. I pray you will feel God’s comfort and love in a fresh way through your friends here.

    Please remember that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through him the law of the Spirit of life set us free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1). We are saved by grace, not works. Once we ask Jesus into our hearts…SAVED!

    Yes, Ron, forgiveness is a choice…a daily and sometimes hourly choice; but it is the only choice. Unfortunately, some will not make that choice. That is beyond our control. Even though we forgive, there are no guarantees that forgiveness will be reciprocated. We need to leave that burden in God’s loving hands.

    God forgave sinful mankind and sacrificed his only son. None of us was deserving of Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sin, but through it we are set free and forgiven. He took on the ultimate shame of unforgiveness that we might truly live. Forgiving others is as much of a choice as forgiving ourselves…often the later is more difficult.

  30. poohpity says:

    Is it not written that we are to forgive 7 times 70 for the same offense in the same day. I have found that many do not ask for forgiveness but we are so cool we give it anyway. Amen!!

  31. rokdude5 says:

    Dale, I hope youll find some small measure of comfort in knowing that I will hold you and your family in my prayers. Its going to be a tough one now that the holidays are almost upon us. RJ

  32. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. I ended my last comment with this: Does it matter whether or not they deserve our forgiveness? Can we “let our conscience be our guide”? The Bible makes it clear that our hearts are in enmity to God, and our hearts are desperately wicked. Remember: Our conscience is not as reliable as the Word of God!

    Hey, let’s admit it: We are not always up-to-par as we would like to be! But, isn’t it wonderful to know, even though we are weak vessels; we can do all things through Messiah who strengthens us [Philippians 4:13]. In light of this good news, we can choose to forgive those who sin against us; we can choose to forgive ourselves, and we can choose to forgive God, Who is so many times blamed for the many consequences we all face in life. Isn’t this true?

    Regarding consequences for no forgiving, if we choose not to forgive, hurtful things will come our way. Now, there is probably some people who will rationalize or try to explain away what I am about to say, but hear me out, please! If we refuse to forgive, hurtful things WILL NOT come to those to whom we harbor unforgiveness towards, they will come to us. BIG TIME!

    An example we find is located in Matthew 18:21-35. Here, Matthew writes,

    (21) Then came Peter to Him (Yeshua) and said, “LORD, how oft shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Till seven time?” (22) Yeshua said unto him, “I say unto thee not until seven times, but until seventy times seven. (23) Therefore is the Kingdom of Heaven like unto a certain king which would take account of his servants. (24) And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. (25) But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. (26) The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ (27) Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. (28) But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me that thou owest.’ (29) And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ (30) And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. (31) So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. (32) Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, ‘O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me; (33) Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?’ (34) And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. (35) So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses [Matthew 18:21-35].

    Here Yeshua tells us exactly what will happen to us when we fail to forgive: God the Father will turn us over to the tormentors! And what can this be except demonic spirits aligned with Satan?

    So, for example, what do we do when faced with a situation when we have already forgiven someone 100 times for the same offense? I don’t believe there’s any exaggeration in this example. Why? Because many of us have been dealing with bad experiences for years and years, and we have to keep forgiving. So, if a person has already forgiven someone 100 times, does this mean he needs to forgive 390 more times to go and then need not forgive again? Of course not. The meaning of Yeshua in the above passage is that we must continue to forgive continually. If people continue to sin against us, we are not to harbor vengeance. The Apostle Paul said, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ saith the LORD” [Romans 12:19; cf. Leviticus 19:18].

    We are not to avenge; that is not our business but God’s.


  33. kingsdaughter says:

    Yes, I am suffering…it is like a tidal wave that comes on unexpectedly after a few days of peace. God is allowing me those days now that have longer periods of peace than in the beginning. This agony is inconceivable and unspeakable in its attack…and I do feel like it is an attack because my mind goes places it has never gone before. I surrender this to God. But, I do believe that the prayers of others for me and my family will lift us up when our own prayers have become just sounds of sobs and groans. I do find it comforting that I can share this with mere strangers and be prayed for. You can only imagine my gratitude.

  34. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. True, we are not to avenge; that is not our business but God’s. But how do we forgive, if it is not a feeling?

    God made us in His image. He made us FREE-MORAL agents. In other words, we each have a will of our own; a will to make our own choices. For example, we can say, by an act of our will, “I will forgive that person, even if I do not feel like it. I choose to forgive, I will forgive that person!” Or, “God said I must forgive, so I will forgive!” Please read John 14:15. Another powerful Scripture to look at is found in John’s Gospel, where it is written, “This is My commandment, ‘That ye love one another, as I have loved you'” [John 15:12].

    How much are we to love people? As Messiah loved us and died for us on the Tree. We ought to love people that much! “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us” [Romans 5:8]. If God can love us that much in spite of all the ungodly things we have performed in His sight, then, isn’t it the proper thing to do, to forgive those who sin against us?

    In Matthew 6:15, we are again exhorted to forgive men of their trespasses against us, or God will not forgive us of our trespasses. It is very clear and plain to understand. The trouble is, we do not practice this commandment as we ought to.

    The results of not forgiving someone, as seen in Matthew 18:21-35, is devastating to our bodies and souls (mind, will, emotions). In verse 34, it says, “And his Lord was wroth and delivered him to the tormentors (demons) till he should pay all that was due him.” In the Greek, the word basanistes refers to tormentor or a torturer. The meaning is properly a torturer (akin to the Greek word basanizo, meaning torment of sickness. Basanizo also means to torture, pain, toil, torment, toss, and vex).

    Question: “What does this all mean down where the rubber meets the road?” How about cancer? Arthritis? Cancer and Arthritis are physical diseases which, according to those who have been involved in deliverance for decades, are caused by evil spirits which afflict the human body. When these spirits leave, complete healing takes place.


  35. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. Regarding evil spirits who torment those who refuse to forgive their trespassers; they will not leave until repentance takes place. The pain will persist until the candidate for deliverance chooses to forgive those who trespass against him/her. Another way these evil spirits afflict a believer who refuses to forgive lies within his mental faculties. Many times he is constantly confused; fearful, suffering from sleeplessness, nightmares; being tormented with immoral thoughts. Many times gluttony takes over, drug addiction; alcohol addiction, and a host of many other signs of bondage too numerous to name at this time.

    Naturally, the question that arises is, “You mean that a Christian who has these afflictions mentioned have demons?” Yes, because lost people are not the only ones who harbor unforgiveness in their hearts. “Well, I have problems with cancer/arthritis, and I don’t hate anyone!” Are you sure? You see, Christians generally respond that they love everyone; but upon deeper questioning, old resentments or even hatred and bitterness are uncovered with the dear Christian had buried and perhaps forgotten. They are there because they have never been dealt with Scripturally; not by humanistic maneuvering.

    Many people harbor unforgiveness toward themselves. They do things which cause them embarrassment later, or they fail to live up to their own standards of achievement or performance. Since they are deeply ashamed or embarrassed over these perceived failures, they choose not to discuss them with anyone – not even God. Then comes guilt and condemnation. When this guilt and condemnation is not dealt with, self-hate can take over his life.

    Childhood is replete with occasions to store up and harbor unforgiveness, bury it, and live with it throughout life. By way of illustration, how did you feel the time your mother wouldn’t allow you to go the show with your friends? At that moment, you hated her! How about the time your father punished you, and you didn’t believed you deserved it? If you had a gun, you could have killed him. Am I exaggerating? Not at all. It happens all the time. Childhood emotions are as strong – sometimes stronger – than adult emotions, and a person needs to sit down and forgive his parents, teachers, playmates, for the wrongs done to him/her as a child.

    Another fruitful field for storing up unforgiveness is toward our mates. This is the person we spend most of the time with. There is more opportunity for our mates to hurt or disappoint us than any other person. There are the biggies such as adultery or alcoholism, and the little daily annoyances such as forgetting to run an errand that was important to us or putting us down in front of friends.

    Then, there’s your Christian brothers and sisters who offer ample opportunity for you to harbor unforgiveness. They may have snubbed you once, or dealt unfairly with you in a business transaction or failed to invite you to their party. Remember that they are no more perfect than you are, and you must choose to forgive them. This also applies to your pastor the time you were in the hospital and he failed to visit you.

    So we see that there are many, many things that may cause us to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts.


  36. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. There are still a few people who consider being afflicted with a disease as “suffering for Jesus.” As one wise man said, “If you believe it’s such a blessing why don’t you as God to afflict you this way?” God doesn’t afflict us with these diseases, Satan in the guilty party.

    We all know the loving kind Christian lady who never had an enemy, was always doing things for people, always giving, never complaining, and yet she contracted cancer or arthritis. “How could she be afflicted by evil spirits?” you may ask. Usually it’s because the very people who do a lot for others are the ones who get hurt the most! Do you agree? These kindhearted people are the ones used more, who go un-thanked, and are many times misunderstood. When this happens, they are hurt and resentful inside, but they bury that feeling rather than deal with it, since they feel that a true Christian should not ever experience anger. They will say, “Oh, don’t worry about it – it’s okay!”

    The proper avenue for this kind of emotion is to ask God’s forgiveness for your anger and resentment, forgive the person who hurt you and turn it over to the LORD. Cry on His shoulder, so to speak.

    You must forgive even those who use you, lie to you, bribe you, and the list continues.

    Yeshua wants us to learn how to forgive those who trespass against us. Yes, it’s a learning process. Some on this blog may be more up-to-date with this subject, and others – it’s all new to them! But this doesn’t mean all of us, including anyone who has been in ministry for many years, are exempt from learning about forgiveness. Learning how to forgive, gives us victory over offenses that come our way every day. This brings peace. If we truly love God’s Torah – His Word, from Genesis to Revelation, no offense that Satan dishes out via his emissaries can rob us of the peace of God. King David penned these beautiful words:
    “Great peace have they which love Thy Torah/Law, and nothing shall offend them” [Psalm 119:165]. True, not even offenses from close acquaintances, pastors, mates, employers, or whoever, can offend us. This is the Word of God!


  37. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. This is the last part of my comments on unforgiveness. It’s lengthy, but please bear with me.

    The Word of God tells us not only to forgive, but to ask God to bless those who trespass against us: “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you’…’Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you’…’Bless them which persecute you; bless, and curse not'” [Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14].

    Do you suppose we are sometimes too proud and religious to forgive? Obviously, this is true! God’s Word has much to say about pride that comes knocking on the door of our hearts every day. Don’t deny it. We all struggle with pride, and when we are honest before God and one another, we will be able to become more humble in our walk with the Master. The following Scriptures show us how ugly pride is:

    Proverbs 16:5/Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

    Proverbs 28:25/He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife; but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

    James 4:6/But He giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’

    1 Peter 5:5/Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

    The Bible goes on to say that God hates a proud look [Proverbs 6:16-17]. Also, Proverbs 21:4 says, “An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.” In light of these Scriptures, even after God said He hates a proud look, we still refuse to forgive.

    We all must understand what the LORD means by “blessing” when He tells us to ask for His blessing on those who have wronged us. Then, does this mean the woman who stole your husband will become wealthy when you ask God to bless her? What is the best thing that could happen to someone who is the most wicked thing you have ever come across? The best blessing for that person would be salvation! And do you hate her so much that you would want her to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire rather than obtaining eternal life with Yeshua?

    The truth is, we believers really do care for the eternal destiny of others, and if we really think about it, we can see the wisdom of the LORD’s instructions. But what about a fellow Christian who does you wrong? A pattern for us here from God’s Word is the prodigal son, who got so far from God that he wound up in the pig’s pen. However, he finally came to his senses and remembered his loving father. The best blessing for this person will be for God to bring them to their senses and bring them back to Him.

    In counseling, I have found out that many time people want relief from their problems but do not care about forgiving those who have offended them. What they want is someone to agree with them and justify their attitude of unforgiveness and understand it. But if the counseling is to line up with God’s Word, there is no room for compromise when it comes to unforgiveness. God’s Word says to forgive! One very good reason to forgive, if you cannot accept any other way, is to avoid being “turned over to the tormentors” (demon spirits) who will afflict you with bodily ills until you choose to repent and to forgive your offenders.

    The first step to forgiveness is listening to godly counsel. The Holy Spirit will bring to mind those close to you who have hurt or disappointed you, and who you need to forgive. You won’t have to guess at anything. God is good in showing us things clearly; more clearly than 20-20 vision. If you would like to pray about this, I am providing a sample prayer. You can put it in your own words is you so choose:

    Father in Heaven, I confess to You that I am harboring unforgiveness in my heart toward other people. Many times I have held bitterness and resentment in my heart against certain people who have hurt and disappointed me. I now recognize this as sin, and I ask you for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. You told me that if I confess my sins, You are faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9].

    Father, I choose to forgive the following people who have hurt or disappointed me (you can name them here). Father, I forgive all these people I have named; and in the days to come when You bring other names to my mind, I will quickly forgive them also.

    Father, I also forgive myself for my many faults and failures. You know them all. I thank You that You have freely forgiven me, and I know it would be wrong for me to hold grudges and other things against myself, against You, Father, or against any other person, whether they be alive or deceased.

    Thank you, LORD, that You have set me free, and I praise You for lifting the guilt and unforgiveness from me.

    As I close, you may find yourself experiencing a deep relief and release as you prayed these prayers from your heart. You may even notice this several days following your prayers when you realize there is a load of guilt and shame gone from you which you did not even realize you were carrying all these years.

    I leave you with these blessings God gave Moses to pray over the tribes of Israel, which I believe applies to everyone, Jews and Gentiles, those who have placed their faith in Messiah Yeshua:

    The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; the LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace [Number 6:24-26].

    Shalom, Shalom

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  38. kingsdaughter says:

    Ron Ben, Thank you for sharing your thoughts on forgiveness. I do have questions. According to what you have said…the tormentors…is this what I am experiencing now? I am grieved beyond imagination over my son’s death. I can’t tell if my attempt to forgive his tormentors has taken affect if what you say is so. How do I know those feelings between grief and torment of unforgiveness. I said that I have forgiven…but remember it is not a feeling. How can I be assured that I have truly forgiven? Is that what happened to my son’s mental capacity…about forgiveness? Maybe with what he knew about his wife and his friend he did take his own life….that means he was tormented by demons in his mind…he didn’t forgive..then was he ultimately taken to Heaven cause he was a Christian…is his punishment death and not hell? (none of us are getting out of here alive unless Jesus returns) I am sorry for all the questions but your dialog has brought up a host of “torments” to my own way of thinking. I eagerly await for comments and counsel. Thank you….


  39. daisymarygoldr says:

    Dale, I’m sure Ron Ben Yaakov will respond to your questions so that it will help you find the peace of Jesus…

    My heart is saddened and I do feel the pain of your grief. You have done the right thing by forgiving the offenders and as you said it is humanly impossible to forget. Allow yourself to be comforted by the Holy Spirit during this hour of agony and if it is possible try to think about the good and sweet memories of your lost son.

    Hopefully, someday God will surely wipe away the painful memories of his suspicious death. Dale, in times like this the best thing is to trust God. Your son was His child before he was born into your family. You and your family are in my prayers…

  40. ellavl says:

    I find forgiveness much easier when I am not focused on myself; just as Jesus on the cross was focused on his mission, so should we be.

  41. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Just for you Dale!

    Revelation 21: 1-7 (Amplified Bible)

    THEN I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea.

    And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband;

    Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God.

    God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

    And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).

    And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life.

    He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much Ron,
    what a sermon, and it is true, praying like that asking God to show where you still have to forgive really helps.
    I did that this year at a christian conference, the same as Ron said, and when I was back home, I was so releaved, so free, so much lighter, since then much more happiness in my life, a lot of gloom has gone.
    You might say, what have I to forgive, but I saw myself again as a little girl, and was sent to my room by my mother to think oer my wrong behaviour, and there I was sitting, fretting myself, because she was the one who was misbehaving in my little opinion, she was so strict. And I saw myself again really being bitter about it. So there was something to forgive.
    The lightness of life was so good after that conference. Christ meant it when He said, my yoke is easy, my burthen is light.

  43. foreverblessed says:

    One more comment about forgiving:
    Matthew 18:35
    This is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you, unless you forgive your brother from the heart.

    Forgive from your heart.
    And reading the story of the unforgiving servant it is not hard to see how we can forgive from the heart, because in the story the servant was debt was huge and huge, yet he did not see how big it was. The story is, see how big the debt is that you had with God, pray for that, so you might see it. So you may know how great and how wide and how deep God’s mercy has been to you. Then it is not so difficult to forgive others.
    That’s why this verse is important:
    ..that they now may too receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. Rom 11:31.

  44. Hisgirl4life says:

    A prayer for you and your family Dale,

    Heavenly Father,
    There are times in our lives when the pain is so raw that we can hardly breathe. We long for your presence, for your peace, but we feel alone with our grief and pain. Father, at this moment, draw near to this dear family. There are so many questions, some much that is not understood. Allow them to feel your loving arms wrap around them. Hold them while they grieve. Comfort them with your Holy Spirit. Remind them of your great love for them. Bring to them supportive individuals to come alongside them to walk this journey with them in love. And for those times when they are too weak to walk, Jesus carry them upon your shoulders. May the God of all comfort envelop you and your family in His great love for you.

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Our friend Ron Ben Yaakov has broadened the subject to many areas of discussion.

    Firstly let me fully agree in the law of reciprocity. Which is a state or reationship of mutual action, reciprocating.

    It can be seen in the Mosaic law as an eye for an eye.

    The concept is simple and true to scripture. If you give, you will recieve. If you love you will be loved, If you hate, you will be hated. And so forth.

    I also fully agree with RBY in that we can be sick from our emotions. Doctors tend to treat the results of sickness rather than to find the base reason. It has taken them a long time to discover that our immune system can be effected by stress, and that stress can cause a wide variety of illnesses. Including cancer and ultimately death.

    As for evil spirits, two reasons I believe they exist. The scripture bears their existance, Jesus went about casting them out Secondly, I have seen them and seen their power over people.

    It is always the same for us all, we must take control of our lives and willfully resist sin, while counting on the Holy Spirit to aid us in our attempts. Believing fully that He does.

    Unforgiveness impedes prayers, Why? Doesn’t God hear my cries, if I harbor unforgiveness? Remember the evil spirit that caused a delay in Daniel’s answer? There is a spirit world. This spirit world is at war with God and all of His followers. which is why we are told that we battle not against flesh and bone but against the spirits of darkness. Unforgiveness gives strength to the darkness and weakens our abilities.

    But there is indeed victory in Christ Jesus. His power is far greater than darkness.

    Let the Ark go before us in all matters, and we too will be victorious.


  46. Mart De Haan says:

    I’m probably missing something in this conversation, but it seems that we have not spent much time reflecting on the distinction between love and forgiveness.

    Grace-enabled love, faith, and hope in our God can keep us from hardening in bitterness. But what about the need to keep as a live issue those wrongs that need to be considered for the good of all?

    The apostle Paul did not assure the Corinthians of his forgiveness until they confronted the brother who was living with his father’s wife– and until the sinning brother had a change of heart. Yet it was the love of God for the Corinthians and this brother that prompted Paul to confront them– not bitterly– but honestly for their good.

    I’m convinced that there are many Scriptures that show the importance of lovingly withholding forgiveness (i.e. not ignoring or denying the wrong) until it is faced. Again, this doesn’t mean to choose bitterness, vengeance, or obsession with getting even). It means showing care and love for someone– even while they are repentant– but in such as to not ignore the wrong.

    Forgive as Christ forgave us. He requires a change of heart for known sin both in salvation forgiveness– and then in family/relational forgiveness.

    The reason for pressing this is to avoid missing the “study in contrast” of wise forgiveness. Without asking the question what does the love of Christ require in the face of this wrong, we can turn forgiveness into a self-centered therapy.

    I know I’m repeating myself. But I’d like to see some of us doing a bit more wrestling with the need to “lovingly” and “patiently” withhold forgivness in those times when a lack of repentance jeopardizes the well being of the offender… and other potential victims…

  47. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Mart,

    An offender needs to be confronted about the offence. If the offender refuses to repent then the matter needs to be seen by others so that there are witnesses to the matter. If the offender still does not repent then the offended person is free of responsibility.

    In the body of Christ, I think it very important to resolve such matters, as it harms the body and effects all.

    But one person should not have to shoulder the responsibility of confronting an offender alone, if the offender is offending others. As mentioned in the corinthian church.


  48. SFDBWV says:

    Wanted to add as an afterthought, I can still forgive people who do not repent to me for offences against me,personaly.

    I have discovered in my life that there is usually a reason inside a person for making them the way they are. If I can get a glimpse of that then that offender no longer offends me, but is to be pittied and needs love more than anything else.

    They still need to be confronted, but with love.


  49. foreverblessed says:

    Maybe others are better in replying Mart, but all of what is written here above stand true,
    Mart says
    “we can turn forgiveness into a self-centered therapy”
    ,but this we have to do in order to stay clean ourselves.
    Forgiving is in the heart, always.
    What we should not always do is tell the ofender we have forgiven him or her.
    You withhold saying it out loud to the offender.

    Confronting is yet another topic, it is not always wise to confront, sometimes it is wiser to withdraw.

    I think we always have to forgive, there is never a time not to forgive.
    Forgive means that you abstain from taking revenge, you leave that in the hands of God. You leave the doing of justice to God, making things just. And He did that through the cross. But if a person does not repent, he stays in his sin. And Christ’s blood cannot cover it.

  50. foreverblessed says:

    Forgiving has nothing to do with feeling someone said.
    Yet to be true to our feelings, we can bring them to God.
    Like if your child has been murdered, you can yell and scream to God, everything that is in your heart. Psalms has a lot on this, you read what things David wishes to his enemies: let their children die, let they never have any children, let them be childless forever.
    These things are written in the bible, and are true.
    But we do not yell them at our offender, but to God.
    He knows, and He will come to us, and give us peace, and He gives us the forgiveness.
    But maybe others are better in explaining this. I am not a preacher, just a lay member.

  51. Hisgirl4life says:

    Thank you Mart for again mentioning loving, patience and repentance in terms of fogiveness.

    God is abundantly loving and patient with each of us in our own sinfulness, but he is a jealous God. He desire for us to turn from our rebellious sin and reconcile with him and others is referenced many times. Most of these are referenced by the words: but, then, as, therefore, etc. God wants to be first in our life…heart, soul and mind above everything and everyone.

    Many times throughout the Bible, we see how God’s patience does at some point expire. I’m thinking of Lot, Pharaoph and unfaithful Israel…”I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries,” (Jeremiah 3:8). I do agree we are called to forgive and reconcile, but that is not always humanly possible. What about those instances of abuse, undeserved harassment, torture, murder (physical and emotional), etc. How do we make excuses for those bent on tearing down God’s children instead of building them up?

    I’m reminded of a passage in Romans 1:18-20: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisble qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    In the book of Hebrews 12:5-6, God also speaks again of discipline saying “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loved and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” Clearly, God can’t be mocked with sin, and he gives many pleas to his church to follow. Note Proverbs 24:23-26 states, “To show partiality in judging is not good: Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent”–peoples will curse him and nations denounce him. But it will go well with those who convicet the guilty, (boldness of truth) and rich blessing will come upon them.”

    Lovingly, God calls us to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 5:31-32). God also calls us his ambassadors, “as though God were making his appeal through us.” (2 Cor. 5:20-21) The verse is summed up with the command, “Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” We each stand before God accountable for the condition of our own heart condition. He alone grants us the grace to forgive, the loving wisdom to let go and let God, and provides the peace in all circumstances. Forgiving others and self to allow God to work in our life for his glory is an ongoing process fueled by his grace.

  52. Hisgirl4life says:

    Whoops…I’m repenting of my spelling errors. :) sorry…

  53. jjhis says:

    I can’t recall if someone has mentioned James 5:19-20 or 1Peter4:8 which says, in part, love covers a multitude of sins. If we love enough to confront a brother/sister in the Lord, the Holy Spirit will lead the way to repentance and reconciliation. What about an unbeliever though who is not covered by the blood of Christ?

  54. poohpity says:

    I believe that forgiveness is a self-centered therapy because when I hold only those who are not brothers/sisters in Christ to standards that they are not even aware of, I tend to get angry thus causing a separation from God. As for those who are in Christ even with the Corinthians in the second book this man was restored to fellowship so that his heart would not become bitter.

    Loving does mean correction but some things are just out of our control and even in those instances I believe we are to forgive because at some point it will promote hardening of the heart.

    There is nothing that I have found in scripture that is pulled apart from other principles to justify alienation from Christ. What I am trying to say which is not coming through yet is that we honestly can not have forgiveness without love or vice-versa. I have never believed that calling a sin a sin is good to do but to harbor unforgiveness causes damage to one’s relationship to God and is saying that we are the ones responsible to inflict punishment by harboring anger. Forgiveness never says that the offense was not a sin it says I have laid this in the Father’s hands.

    I do not believe that the church in Corinth withheld forgiveness they followed a principle of getting a bad apple out of the bunch before it caused others to follow the path of sin by not affirming it. There is a difference in restoration and forgiveness. Only love that is blind will allow a brother/sister to continue in a sin because love is seeking the highest good for the one loved.

    The bible tells us to love others as ourselves and I believe to love myself I need to forgive those who have harmed me but that is not saying it is OK it is saying I trust God to deal with it.

  55. poohpity says:

    Correction- I have never believed that not calling a sin a sin is good.

  56. daisymarygoldr says:

    The comments on this page have pretty much covered all the bases at least to my limited knowledge. Of course Ron Ben Yaakov’s concept of “tormentors” being evil spirits that cause cancer/arthritis is new to me but I accept what you have said because I believe you are speaking this as an expert.

    Personally, though I am not skeptical about the existence of evil spirits, in my life I have not experienced those things…actually to me evil human beings are spookier than evil spirits. Unforgiveness does leads to torment in the sense it robs us off a peaceful mind and yes if allowed to linger the stress will cause a lot of chemicals to be released in our bodies and brains which in turn will affect our emotional stability… to eventually result in depression and sickness.

    This is very true in the case of pampered, narcissistic people who use the baseless crutches of lame Freudian principles to blame their parents for all their present problems. Such individuals that find fault with everyone and everything except themselves will always struggle with unforgiveness…to the point that their emotional disorder literally makes life to be hell on earth for their spouses, children and friends at church.

    Therefore to avoid all these complications Christ commands us to forgive one another. Ellavl, you have said it best: “I find forgiveness much easier when I am not focused on myself”. And no, I can never take credit for my forgiving attitude to feel proud or religious because I know myself best. It is not me but Christ dwelling in me that enables me to forgive and our constant spiritual growth is marked with more of “it is no longer I (i.e. self) who lives, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me”. (Gal 2:20)

    And according to Matt 6:15 above, if I do not forgive the sins of others, then the Lord will also not forgive me my sins. As Christians we sin and if our sins are not forgiven, it hinders our relationship with our Heavenly father. We will not sense the presence of the Lord or His Spirit in our lives. Hence as Steve said, our prayers will not be answered. Our lives then will be bereft of the blessings of the Lord.

    Jesus tells us to forgive, especially in our relationships with brothers and sisters in church. If we are not reconciled with our brethren and harbor resentment against the church, then be assured that no amount of our sacrificial services to God will be acceptable in His sight. (Matt 5:23-24).

    If I refuse to forgive my fellow Christians, then it means that I hate God’s children. And God’s Word clearly says, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1Jo 3:14-15).

  57. daisymarygoldr says:

    And Mart, there is no scripture that tells us to withhold forgiveness. In fact, there are passages that tell us plainly that if God does not hold back forgiveness, then who are we to do withhold forgiveness.

    Paul did not tell believers in the church at Corinth to withhold forgiveness… he was telling them to excommunicate the sinner in order to enforce spiritual discipline. When a child is disciplined for having willfully wronged, it does not mean that his parents are doing this to withhold forgiveness. When God disciplines His children, it does not mean He has refused to forgive us.

    Discipline is not a measure to withhold forgiveness but is meant to lead us back to the right path…to turn back i.e. to repent in order to be restored into a right relationship with God and His people…as seen in the case of the Prodigal son where the father never held back forgiveness…it was the son who had spurned the father’s love and grace and it is the son who had to turn around and come back to enjoy his relationship with the father.

    The church should never withhold forgiveness but the errant believer can only avail forgiveness on the condition of forsaking his sin.

    Paul mentions this in his second epistle to the Corinthians:“[the one among you who committed incest] has caused [all this] grief and pain. For such a one this censure by the majority is sufficient [punishment]. So [instead of further rebuke, now] you should rather turn and [graciously] forgive…to reinstate him in your affections and assure him of your love for him…If you forgive anyone anything, I too forgive that one…for your sakes in the presence [and with the approval] of Christ (the Messiah). To keep Satan from getting the advantage over us; for we are not ignorant of his wiles and intentions.” 2 Cor 2: 5-11

    Forgiveness leads to peace when the offended parties are reconciled and the sole purpose of Church discipline is reconciliation and restoration. Even though this is not directly related to the topic of forgiveness, because you led me to think about discipline, it is apt to address all of us Christians who are in conflict with the church.

    If we have been subjected to spiritual discipline, it is best to repent and be reconciled to the House of God. As Christians who are already born-again as God’s children, if for some reason we have left our Father’s house we cannot expect our Father or our brethren to come and seek us out.

    The purpose of the church is to go out and seek the ones that are truly lost without God because “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” John 6:44.

    Therefore, if we have left the church because of our personal beliefs that contradicted the scriptural beliefs of the church, then it is our responsibility to be reconciled with the Spiritual family of God.

    Remember, it was the lost son who had to trace back his steps to his loving father. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” Jas 4:8. Just my thoughts on why we should not withhold forgiveness…

  58. pegramsdell says:

    God has forgiven me, so I ought to forgive others. I didn’t deserve His forgiveness, but He gave it anyway.
    However, He says that if I don’t forgive my brother He will not forgive me. So there does seem to be conditions.

  59. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Dale. I’m sorry I haven’t responded to your message before now. But here goes.

    Regarding these vital subjects of when, or when not to forgive; in your case, I want to point you to James 1:5 where the Apostle said, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ASK of God, that giveth to ALL men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

    Your questions indicate that you need the wisdom of God to cope with the death of your son, with unforgiveness; both on the part of your son, as well as any unforgiveness towards your offenders; whether or whether not your grief and suffering is derived from demon powers, etc. We can pile things up, which appear to be like a five-mile-high mountain, but nothing is impossible with God. That’s why we/you need His wisdom how to cope with any given circumstance. In this particular verse, which I, myself, pray continuously: “Father, I don’t know what to do in this case. Please give me the wisdom to know what to do…” etc. The Old English term, “upbraideth not,” really means, “God will not turn us away, but He will do what He said He would do.” That is, if we come to Him in obedience to His Word, He will give us the answers we need. But He gives us the answers in His timing, not our timing.

    Other Scriptures that comes to mind are found in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, where he said, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our INFIRMITIES; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us…according to the will of God” [Romans 8:26-27].

    According to the word “infirmities,” there’s a broad meaning to this word, but one of them catches my attention regarding your disposition at this time; the word is “upset.” Let’s face it, you’re upset, and rightly so! You’ve lost a son, but you haven’t lost THE SON! Your son was born into your family, and he was taken away from your family, but all along, he belonged to the LORD. Here’s why I say this: “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD; and the fruit of the womb is His reward” [Psalm 127:3]. In other words; God gives us children, which means we inherit them from the LORD. They are His property, if I may use that term, and when they leave this life, they go back to the LORD. I may be getting myself in a pack of trouble, but I’ll say this: You did what you thought was best for your son. His decision-making before his life was taken; during all the years he lived, was not your decision-making, but his. You can’t, and you shouldn’t try to figure this all out. If your son repented of his sins, and believed on the Son of God, and by faith received the LORD into his life, he was eternally saved. Plain and simple! Nothing can take that away [John 10:27-30].

    Dale, YOU MUST; and I can over emphasize this; YOU MUST cast this care upon the LORD. You can’t carry this load, and by trying to carry this burden (which already shows that it’s too heavy for you) it will take you to an early grave; or, you may wind up in a mental ward. You are a free-will agent; in other words, God gave you the gift of making your own decisions, as does every human being born into this world. The same applied to your son before his death. When we take our eyes off of the LORD, we’re in trouble. It doesn’t matter what circumstance we may EACH BE FACING, we can’t make it without His supernatural intervention. Plain and simple!

    It’s okay to cry; it’s okay to be angry; as long as we don’t sin during these emotions that erupt from grieving. And, it’s okay to pursue justice if indeed you son had his life taken by the people you mentioned earlier. I gave you an option, but I don’t want to mention it again, nor do I want to try to coerce you into making this decision. Just remember James 1:5!

    I hope what little I shared with you encourages you, not to try to carry this load. YOU CAN’T DO IT ON YOUR OWN!

    Blessings and love in Messiah,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  60. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom to all. Thank you for your input. Again, I learn from your comments; I glean truth from them, which helps me to grow in His grace, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

    Mart has presented to us some valuable information. I don’t think Mart expects any of us to always agree with his interpretation of Scripture, nor do I think Mart is going to always agree with our interpretations. Isn’t this true. This is what keeps the balling rolling, as the old saying goes. And, let’s not forget this Truth: “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” [Proverbs 27:17]. We’re friends, so let’s allow one another to sharpen one another. Amen, and amen!

    I have some good stuff rolling around in my spirit man I want to share with the group regarding the Scriptures Mart just shared; however, I have to excuse myself for a little while; but I’ll be back. I have chores to perform via my wife: Heh, heh, heh! I’m laughing, but she’s a real help meet, and yes, she sharpens my iron as well. LOL!!!

    Meanwhile, depending on your place in the world, have a good morning, afternoon, and evening.

    Lot’s of love,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  61. kingsdaughter says:

    Thank you Bob, for the reminder of scripture that has such a lovely vision of what is to be….I can hardly wait. Thank you for the lovely prayer, Hisgirl4life…all comments are comforting.

    I understand some of all of the comments but not all of some of the comments….even the ones backed by scripture. I feel so inept in my thinking some times. But, I have come to the conclusion that we all perceive some of the very same scriptures differently! I am certain that is why there are so many denominations…all who claim to be Christian and all who have claimed their doctrines/disciplines to be from the Word of God. And everyone can point to a verse and say…”see there…I was right.” While another points to another verse to oppose the other person’s perception of that verse. Oh my, my, my.

    I understand about our torments being made here on earth…we all have to deal with afflictions. I guess there is a fine line between the scientific proof of the brain and all its complexities..and the soul that can not be x-rayed or tested by any means of science..for proof that it is there. Our heart…the life of our body..the pulse of our soul…it has a dual purpose. I am not a scientist so therefore I cannot argue anything factual about it. I’m not even that good at anatomy but I will try to explain my understanding of how the pulse of our soul works…it’s a God thing. I know I have one because I sense it…I feel it…just like I can feel the pulse of my body’s heart. God gave me feelings a part from my autonomic nervous system…that would be my soul…my soul is my moral compass…I have my hope and faith stored there. But, oh no…am I leaving my brain out??? Oh no! How does one think and make moral decisions if the heart is not in its place…the pulse of the soul “heart?”…It all works together but it only means something..the morality of it…the forgiveness of it if you can feel it. It is like when my kids were younger and one hit the other and I made them apologize to each other. I know they did not mean it because it was just words…they did not mean it. That brings me to obedience…perhaps, forgiveness is being obedient to His command. Maybe it is just words: an action. If I have to wait for a feeling maybe it will never come. I am flesh. Paul says it best when he is trying to explain the conflict of flesh and spirit. What a struggle it is. Thank God for Jesus.

  62. marma says:

    I want to thank you all for your comments; I have read quite a few; lots of food for thought.

    I’m not sure about withholding forgiveness as an act of love. I think it does depend on what group you are talking about. For the unsaved world, I think we need to forgive wrongs against us, but that doesn’t negate justice being done by our laws and courts for the protections of society.

    For the church, forgiveness must be given when the perpetrator has repented (in the true biblical sense of that Word).

    The third group: in which is the sinning believer who hasn’t repented, even after confronted concerning the sin. That person, in that state, doesn’t need forgiveness; he or she needs discipline. If that doesn’t happen, then the church is part of the sin, isn’t it? Perhaps that is an application of I Tim 5:22? (I’m asking–probably there are better scriptures.) On this subject others who have delved deeper have more to say, just wanted to put that forth for more discussion.

    However, effectual discipline, when it yields repentence, should be followed up by forgiveness.

  63. kingsdaughter says:

    I’m sorry Ron Ben…I meant to thank you for your heartfelt concern, as well. You are right. I feel like I am headed to an early grave from this grief alone. Oddly enough, I haven’t harbored hatred for my son’s wife….I say and hope my forgiveness of her and the “best friend” is proven to be genuine(action vs. feeling). My son was so very concerned for her well-being and the fact that she was an alcoholic. It was a tenuous situation…as for her, I am certain it still is. Thank you again. I am always learning…God bless you, friend.

  64. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I want take off from Mart’s comment above:

    The apostle Paul did not assure the Corinthians of his forgiveness until they confronted the brother who was living with his father’s wife– and until the sinning brother had a change of heart. Yet it was the love of God for the Corinthians and this brother that prompted Paul to confront them– not bitterly– but honestly for their good – end of statement

    Okay, when we go to the 5th chapter of 1 Corinthians, we are immediately reminded about the judgment that took place in this congregation which was birthed right in the middle of idolatry, immorality; and the list continues. Can you imagine the pressure these believers were under?!

    I think I can answer my own question: I see it clearly in our nation/s today! It’s widespread, but the key is keeping ourselves separated from the slop pen, as I call it.

    Okay, getting back on track. Paul heard the story about a young man and his stepmother who were involved in a sexual relationship condemned by God’s Word. How do I know this relationship was condemned by God’s Word? When we go back to the Torah, in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, we see plainly the prohibition of this relationship between a son/step-son and his mother: “The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover; it is thy father’s nakedness…Cursed be he that lieth with his father’s wife; because he uncovereth his father’s skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen” [Leviticus 18:8; Deuteronomy 27:20].

    Paul told this body of believers that they were puffed up. Puffed up about what? First of all, the term, “puffed up” refers to pride. Without going into a lot of details, notice Paul addressed this congregation as being “puffed up” in both 1 Corinthians 4:19 and 5:2! He’s saying: “You people are full of pride!” Evidently, after being taught about the grace of God, and having their sins washed away, and so on, they allowed pride to convince them that they had the freedom to sin; that they had the liberty to live the way they wanted to live.

    Okay, this brings us to the part about the couple who were committing sin by breaking the commandments listed above in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.


  65. carlj says:

    I seem to recall a program you produced that dealt with “to forgive or not forgive”. If I am correct that you produced the program I hope that this blog will lead to a follow up. I remeber that at the time of the program I read some other articles on forgiving. There seemed to be 3 schools of thought being taught:
    1. Confront and forgive
    2. Forgive but don’t confront because it will possibly lead to further conflict
    3. If a person does not ask for forgivenenes, there is not a requirement to forgive

    A couple of passages I feel that are relevant but do not speak directly to forgiving are 1 and 2 Timothy. In them Paul is relating an experience with possibly 2 different Alexanders. In one passage, Paul writes the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. In another, he writes that he has handed him over to Satan. In these 2 instances Paul doesn’t mention forgiveness.

  66. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. Paul heard about this couple, and he immediately addressed the congregation about their sin of pride. Notice he didn’t say anything about forgiveness: “Hey, you guys need to forgive this couple. Things will work out okay if you’ll just forgive them!” No, if he would have said that, then he would have been just as puffed up as this congregation was puffed up.

    Paul, instead, told them he had already judged the matter: “In the name of our LORD Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our LORD Yeshua the Messiah, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the LORD Yeshua” [vv.4-5].

    Nothing was said about forgiveness, only judgment; turning the guilty parties over to Satan….

    This abandonment, another way of saying, “Deliver him to Satan…,” meant, this man was delivered to Satan that he may afflict the man as he pleases. In other words, he was turned over to the tormentors, if we want to get technical about it. What’s the difference between unforgiveness, adultery, fornication, molestation, or incest? We could come up with all kinds of definitions, but narrowing it down: IT’S SIN! Plain and simple!

    The problem this congregation was facing, was that they were partying around; dreaming-up programs, and not paying attention to the fact, that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” [v.6]. Why do you suppose the modern churches, including Messianic congregations are so messed up, so polluted; and may I say, “So puffed up”? They don’t love God, nor do they love His Word!

    Okay, Paul told them to excommunicate him so he would go to Hell, right? Wrong! He was excommunicated that he might come to his senses and repent. To expel him was to put out in the devil’s territory, severed from any connection with God’s people. Sounds harsh, but it works. Satan was allowed to bring physical affliction on the man, which would bring him to repentance.

    Okay, we can see this man WAS NOT TOLD he was forgiven; only to leave and not come back until he changed his lifestyle, until he was ready to repent. I know, we don’t find it written this way, but I’ll show you where I get this idea. Go to 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

    In these Scriptures, Paul is speaking of a particular person. Who do you think he’s speaking about? We’ll see in a moment. This person, according to Paul had caused a serious offense in the congregation and upon whom church discipline was encouraged by Paul. Now, here comes the Truth:

    We look back to 1 Corinthians 5 and we see where the whole church was puffed up with pride, not lifting a finger to correct this immoral act between this man and his father’s wife. Now, we find this same body of believers committing another sin. What sin?


  67. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. The sin they were committing was unforgiveness. Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul is shown admonishing the Corinthians. As it is written, this congregation was refusing to accept from this man, a genuine sorrow and repentance for his sin. Paul rebuked this congregation for their unforgiveness, telling them his punishment (whatever happened to him by Satan) should be discontinued and that he should be lovingly restored to their fellowship.

    Church discipline is an absolute when needed; but, as important as it is, this regulation should not be allowed to develop into a form of abuse; graceless rigor in which there is no room allowed for pardoning and restoring the party involved.

    Yes, in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul didn’t mention anything about forgiveness, only in 2 Corinthians 2. So, here is a good example of when not to forgive, and when to forgive. Hope this clears the dust for folks.

    I know, it sounds like another mystery, but we have to remember this:

    (6) Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near; (7) let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (8)] For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (10) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; (11) so shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it [Isaiah 55:6-11].

    Yes, His Word will not return void; whether we do understand it or not; it will hit its mark; another word for Torah…So, there’s a time to forgive and there’s a time not to forgive.

    With love in my heart for all on this blog who are suffering in body and mind: Study the Word which heals. If your spirit man is wounded, which is obvious on this blog, remember: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” [Proverbs 18:14]. This Scripture speaks for itself. If I had the time and permission to expound, I would, but we’re on a different topic.

    Thanks Mart for reminding us about studying the importance of knowing when and when not to forgive our offenders. We have a tendency to drift from the main stream sometimes. Forgive us :-)

    Love in Messiah,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  68. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom. I hope to back this evening, but in case I don’t make it, I’ll see you tomorrow :-).

    Love in Messiah,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  69. poohpity says:

    Ron you certainly do have a LOT to say my friend. Although I get scattered and loose track I have to scroll maybe I will find time to read all you write but I have a short attention span.

    Dale, I think and this is just my opinion that maybe further research into scripture you can find all the answers you seek and to ask for guidance from the Lord to discern the answers you seek. As per your post at 5:02pm.

    Mart, I have thinking about what you said about, “with the need to “lovingly” and “patiently” withhold forgiveness in those times when a lack of repentance jeopardizes the well being of the offender… and other potential victims…. I am earnestly asking can you give an example other than the Corinthian church because I honestly do not see that there. The reason I ask is I am struggling with the things my family did to me during my mom’s last days here and then what they did after also. They called me horrible names because I choose to separate myself from them because I could not take all the confusion and then after death they stole things from her property that after death was actually left to me. I am having a hard time with all this and I would rather forgive them then to harbor anger and resentment. I am soooo hurt, so by what you are saying that until they ask I should not forgive? Please help me with this.

  70. Hisgirl4life says:

    Another thought to ponder on forgiveness…

    Forgiveness does not always guarantee reconciliation. One can forgive another and another may choose not to restore the relationship.

    Forgiveness also does not guarantee the sin will be forgotten and trust will be restored. Those offenses, depending on the severity, are healed by the power of Jesus, but the reminders may never be forgotten until we are taken to our Heavenly home.

    We are, however, still called to forgive as God forgave us and attempt to reconcile relationship through the death and power of his son, Jesus. In a perfect world, all would repent, seek reconciliation and forgiveness and peace, trust and tranquility would abound… but as we all know, we all sin and do not live in a perfect world here on earth. Someday…praise God, that will all change.

  71. phpatato says:

    The following will have questions that I have about people who give mere lip-service in saying sorry.

    Let’s pretend for a moment and say: I have two daughters and I have always treated them with the same respect and loved them equally. One is the “perfect” child….I rarely have to punish or discipline her. She is eager to please me by always trying to do what I expect of her. She says please and thank you and always trys to tell the truth. The other daughter is more of a handful. She is my problem child. I have just found out that she has lied to me on several occasions. The latest lie was very hurtful to me. Do I unconditionally forgive her when I know deep down that she really doesn’t care that she lied or that it hurt me? If I forgive her when I know that she isn’t repentant or hasn’t got a change of heart, would I not be enabling her? Would I not be, in a sense, giving her the go-ahead, encouraging, turning a blind eye to her habitual lying? Is there some point in which I have to hold back on my forgiveness to show her that I have had enough..put my foot down so to speak? I gave the example of lying. This can be substituted for something else.

    Sometimes tough-love is necessary. Forgiveness has to be held back, for a time, to help those who have wronged us to see the importance of SINCERE and GENUINE repentance (not wasted lip service)….while in the interim of holding back on that forgiveness, be in earnest prayer that they come to “see the Light”; to come back with a changed heart.

    Note: this holding back on forgiveness should not be confused with “turning your back on”.


  72. Jing says:

    After reading blog after blog I feel like I have to jump in and give my two cents. Nowhere will you find that Jesus gave the okay to withhold forgiveness. We’ve all recited the Lords Prayer. What does our model prayer say? Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus say to withhold forgiveness. Hey, it’s hard sometimes to forgive. Don’t point at me. Jesus is the only example to exemplify when he forgave those that crucified him. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I cannot show you one place, one indication, one hint, where Jesus urges to withhold forgiveness for any reason. If fact, He, so taught the very opposite, as Christ was perfect. In fact, Jesus set the standard so high, with no exceptions, that I find it hard to live up to..as would any born again Christian. We all struggle with people that have wronged us…but nowhere does it say we withhold forgiveness. That’s a dangerous statement. Even in the Old Testament the incredible thing about Joseph was his FORGIVENESS .. and his brothers did not ask for forgiveness but he forgave them. Dale, I believe in such extreme cases as yours, I know it is so hard. I’m not going to tell you I could do it. But, if we fail to forgive, then our Father which is in heaven, will fail to forgive us at the judgement. Forgiveness in your case would only be possible with God’s help. Think of how you felt when you accepted Christ. Your sins are forgiven, and the burden is lifted. Sometimes we have to “wash our hands of the matter”, but nowhere does Christ tell us to withhold forgiveness.

  73. daisymarygoldr says:

    Good thoughts Jing!

    Just to remind us, lest we forget that it is only because of God’s unconditional forgiveness He has accepted sinners like us i.e. our persons to be His children forever and that’s why we are confident about “eternal security”.

    …but then it is also because we continue to sin till the day we die, we repent to seek forgiveness for our sins (as in forgive us our debts) because our Holy God hates sin.

    Similarly, we who are God’s children should hate sin and refuse to excuse it which means we cannot forgive the sin. However, we love sinners and forgive them i.e. their persons even before they apologized or asked for forgiveness.

    That is the unconditional love of God expressed in Jesus Christ His Son which His followers also express not by their own virtue but only with the help of the Holy Spirit….and it is w-a-a-a-y different from the conditional love of natural man that chooses “to forgive or not to forgive”!

    phpatato in your case and thanks for sharing, no, you cannot forgive your daughter’s hurtful lie (sin) but then in your heart there is always forgiveness for her. On your part forgiveness is always available. On her part she can avail it only when she realizes her wrongs and asks to be forgiven in order to be restored into a right relationship with you, her mother.

    And yes, discipline is absolutely necessary for children who refuse to own or accept their faults. The motive of discipline is nothing but love which of course your daughter will perceive as hate…and that is perfectly okay at least IMHO:) Just my thoughts…

  74. marma says:

    Poohpity: I so hear you in regards to your mom’s death. Seems like death in a family can bring out the best/worst in family members. So often (in my own family as well) a lot of hurt and bitterness occurs and part of it is over the things left behind. Avarice comes in, and people act like vultures. This is true in families where Matt 6:33 means nothing, and as far as I can tell, it is the path to forgiveness in those things. We can’t control what family members say/do, but we can ask God to deliver us from being caught up in that. For some of us, we desire to maintain a connection through the things left behind. My mom, for example, had one good memory of time spent with her father; it was a drop leaf table her mother had promised her. The table went to mom’s sister, and she was bitter about it. Speaking practically, my aunt had as much a right to that table having looked after my grandma in her old age; for mom, the table meant holding on to her father’s memory in the only good way she knew how (my grandpa wasn’t much of a father to her.) Often it’s not the things, but what those things represent to us. I don’t know what Mart will say, but I think part of forgiveness is letting go of the issue, turning it over to God, and bringing those thoughts into captivity to Christ. Probably not a one time event, and certainly only by the power of the Holy Spirit. Casting all your care on Him, for he cares for you! Hope this helps in some small way.

    Ron–thanks for sharing. Discipline must be done in love, as you point out, some churches go way overboard. As we have discussed before, a congregation yielded to the Lord, submitting to the Holy Spirit, will discipline in love, and will have the H.S. wisdom to guide them, according to the Word of God. Sometimes churches make mistakes, and they must be willing to humble themselves and admit it and ask forgiveness. Of course, nowadays we have the issue of litigation, which certainly throws a monkey wrench into the whole issue, too! But I think even with that threat, it should be tried.


  75. paulruppert says:

    Good article. The one thing I understand is that Christ wants us to forgive our enemies. Our enemies are those who are not believers and cause us harm. Forgiveness though doesn’t mean they get away with the deeds they commit. An example is Islamic terrists and the deeds of killing Christians, and Jews. We are to forgive them, but also they must pay for the deeds they commit. They like us are to be held accountable. Punishment for murder is death. It is held in the Bible as that. We as a nation seem to forget this, and are soft on the murder of God’s people and all of man kind. This doesn’t mean you are not forgiving. Non forgiveness is a pretense to hate. Thank You

  76. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Jing. I find it interesting what you said, “Nowhere will you find that Jesus gave the okay to withhold forgiveness.” You seem to be on the defense about when to forgive and when not to forgive.

    I realize these subjects are foreign to what many have been taught. I know, that when I first heard this approach, which was several years ago, it caused my red flags to go up. However, the more I thought about it, and, instead of listening to sermons and other forms of teaching tools regarding these subjects, I asked the Holy Spirit to show me in the Word. You see, many messages that come across the pulpit are just hearsay, and not scriptural. This makes me want to dig even more to prove they’re wrong.

    So, I prayed and the Holy Spirit first led me to 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye NEED NOT that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” Now, some people read into this verse and become munks or hermits, thinking that they don’t need any man to teach them. This is not what it’s saying. In other words, the Father doesn’t want us to rely on man to teach us; because, it’s possible that men can become icons in our eyes, which is idolatry. This is quite prevalent in our society today.

    Okay, this made sense, so He then led me to 2 Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” Then, He led me to 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” Yeshua also told His apostles in John 16:13, “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will shew you things to come.”

    I could give you more Scriptures that He used to get me to search the Scriptures on my own, instead of listening to every doctrine and idea that came along, but these will suffice.

    Let me make this as short as possible. You have to realize that a book could be written easily on these subjects. But this isn’t my intention.

    I want to show you Scriptures where Yeshua teaches when to forgive and when not to forgive mens’ trespasses. You may not agree, but that’s your choice. I say that with all due respect and love. You have the right to choose what to believe.

    Okay, there are Scriptures that point to unforgiveness when it comes to the Lost who reject the Gospel. For example, in Matthew’s Gospel, Yeshua sends out His apostles to preach the Gospel. I want to give you Matthew 10:11-15, which says:

    (11) And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. (12) And when ye come into an house, salute it. (13) And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. (14) And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. (15) Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

    It doesn’t take a theologian to figure out what Yeshua was telling His apostles if they were rejected, as well as the Gospel.

    These Scriptures given us instruction on how ministers should approach places and people, preaching the Gospel. But notice, if a minister water’s down the Word, Yeshua is saying that preaching the Gospel is non-negotiable. In the vernacular, He says to His ministers, “If you go into a town, and you find worthy people to stay with, preach the Gospel to them. If they accept it, great. Stay there and preach for as long as you need to. If they reject it, great. Pick up your belongings, dust off your pants, and go to the next town. As a minister of God, you are not preaching for the sake of numbers, or to receive praise from the people, or to make money, or whatever. Preach the gospel! Period!”

    The minister’s job is to preach the Gospel. If the people accept it—wonderful. If they do not accept it—well, they will get their reward. They will get the reward that Sodom and Gomorrha received.

    Ministers of the Gospel do not have to waste their time in places where the Gospel will not be accepted. God does not want His ministers to throw pearls before the swine, as it were. He wants them to find those who will accept the Truth, who want to believe the Truth, who are willing to support the Truth, who want to help in getting the Truth out. And if none are to be found in a particular place, they are to move on. Evidently, this is God’s way of saying, “If they reject you and your words (the Gospel), they will not be forgiven in this life, nor the life to come.

    But the truth remains the same. The message must be preached, and it must not be changed. Yeshua was pretty radical about this. His ministers were not driven by numbers, nor by contributions. They knew they were not sent to make them look good, since they were not sent to be in it for their own glory, or for usury. They were in the ministry because they desired to preach the Gospel and glorify God. That is what their Master Yeshua told them to do, and they were men, servants, under authority.

    Hence, by shaking the dust off their feet as a testimony against them was their way of saying, “You’re not forgiven for your sins; not in this world, nor the world to come!”


  77. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Jing. I wrap up my comments in this section.

    We mentioned before about dealing with unbelievers who reject God’s ministers of the Gospel, and the Gospel itself.

    Now, there are believers to deal with. We can go to Matthew 18:15-18, which describes someone sinning against us, as well as when to forgive and when not to forgive people who trespass against us. We read:

    (15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the Church; but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (18) Verily I say unto you, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.

    According to these Scriptures given above, what should we do when we think we see a problem? God is very clear on the procedure. Matthew 18:15 says we should go to our brother, alone, privately. Discuss the concern with him and him alone. These steps work to correct problems that sometimes occur — if they are followed. The problem abounding today in the Church is, we know what to do, but we do not always practice what we know.

    Our focus should always be on solving the problem, not just talking about it, condemning it, or gossiping about it. Get as few people involved in the matter as possible — in fact, no one else needs to know about it unless it escalates. Concentrate on the matter at hand and do not bring up bygones. Do not burn any bridges or threaten the other with ultimatums. Remember that you are trying to gain your brother, not lose him!

    We need to skip down to Matthew 18:17 since we have limited time and space. Tell it to the Church! This is when you’ve obeyed the Scriptures, but the guilty party refuses to repent. The Church mentioned here in this verse could mean the whole assembly of believers, or it could be those who are authorized to try such cases – the elders or deacons of the Church, anyone appointed to act for the Church.

    In the Jewish synagogue there were a bench of elders assigned. They were assigned before any trials of this kind were brought before them. It was to be brought to the Synagogue in order that the culprit might be admonished, entreated, and, if possible, reformed. This was, and is always to be, the first business in disciplining an offending brother.

    This same procedure carried on in the Church formed on the day of Pentecost. Hence, if the offender neglected to hear the Church, let him be treated as a heathen or publican. In other words, those who did their best to admonish the offender, and he refused to repent, they would no long have any religious contact or communion with him/her.

    Regarding the term “publicans,” they were people of abandoned character, and the Jews would have no contact with them. The meaning of this is, “You must cease to have any religious contact with him, nor should you acknowledge him/her as a Christian brother or sister.”

    It does not mean that we should cease to show kindness to him and aid him in affliction or trial, for that is required toward all people; but it means that we should disown the offender as a Christian brother or sister, and treat them as we do other people not connected with the Church. This should not be done until all these steps are taken. This is the only way of kindness. This is the only way to preserve peace and purity in the Church.

    Remember, we don’t make the rules: God makes the rules!

    Love in Messiah,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  78. SFDBWV says:

    I like to take the time, when I can, to read everyones comments. Sometimes I wonder if some read what others write or only write what it is they want to say.

    Seems the same thought gets stated, differently over and over.

    But that, to me is ok, it is the way of things and the way of people.

    Mart has often called this medium a round table and that sometimes we find ourselves on oposite sides of an issue.

    Must always remember that the names that appear over a comment is an actual person. With feelings and vulnerability.

    It seems that the thread of topics since “Unexpressable Rememberance” has been about dealing with contrasts from scripture and dealing with offensive people, within the guidelines of scripture.

    I am wondering how many of us consider ourselves to have been an offender? If no one has said to us that we have offended them, would we know?

    If we didn’t know we had offended someone, how then could we seek forgiveness?

    The offended would only continue to harbor illfeelings, that may grow or manifistate itself through other “vents”.
    The offender continuing to offend, not knowing the harm they are doing.

    Forgiveness always to someone who asks for it. Forgiveness in the heart even for those who don’t. Your heart ready and eager to forgive. Just awaiting a chance to.

    I stated early on that for any of us to expect another to forgive, when that person has been handed an unforgivable set of circumstances to forgive, is easy for us to advise another to do.

    Only God can heal a broken heart. The rest of us can offer comfort and sympathy. But the miracle power of love and the Christ is what it will take to heal wounds so deep as some have suffered.

    Sometimes, a sypathetic ear, and prayer for another is all we can do.

    If I have offended any here, I ask you to tell me so that we may set each other free, through the open door of forgiveness.


  79. saled says:

    I agree with marma; part of forgiveness is letting go of the issue, turning it over to God, bringing every thought captive to Christ. If you look up the definition of malice in Unger’s Bible Dictionary, it gives the idea that malice is thinking the worst of another person’s actions. I had always looked at malice the other way around, as if it was the intention of someone to do me harm. I recognize this tendency in myself, to assume the worst about someone’s words or actions. Remembering Unger’s definition helps me to give the other person the benefit of the doubt and put the issue behind us. Of course, in those who are close to us, and who we are responsible for their spiritual development, such as our children, you can’t always assume their intentions are the best! I think this is where the love/forgivenss balance is most important. This is where Mart’s question that we are to ask ourselves, “In light of what has happened, what response will seek the highest good of all involved?” may be most important.

  80. poohpity says:

    For myself I pretty much know when I have done something to offend someone because the Lord let’s me know by pricking my conscience. Or I think how I would have felt if someone did that to me and then I go and ask for someone to forgive me. With my family when I do this their reply is almost the same every time and that is, “You ask for forgiveness but you get angry again and say things that you can not take back”. That is so true so then I give it my best shot to control my tongue but it seems I mess up again. So do I quit asking for forgiveness and just push it to the back burner? I think not.

    On the other hand there is not one other person in my family who ever apologizes for anything except my mom and she is now gone. The relationships are strained with no one acknowledging their wrong. Here is where I have to make the conscious effort to forgive. By forgiveness I mean that I am letting go of punishment by withholding my love and leaving the offense to God to take care of. I am not saying what they did was right,I know it may happen again and they may never acknowledge the wrong but I choose to forgive because that is what the Lord has taught me to do.

    I think we get confused in the definition of forgiveness. It does not mean that what was done is OK, it does not mean I will ever forget, it does not mean it won’t be done again, it does not mean someone recognizes the offense. It does mean that I am giving it to God and giving up my right to withhold love, withhold speaking to them, stop talking about the offense and allow the consequences to happen as they will but not by my passive anger which is an offense to God and can separate me from Him.

  81. Jing says:

    Deb-I wish I could express my thoughts as you just did. Your last paragraph was so ably worded it is my exact feelings of forgiveness in my heart.

  82. poohpity says:

    Jing I wish I could take credit but all the bible says about how we are to love others and seeing how hidden anger can really cause people to be ugly and cause harm to themselves and others, I can not see how withholding forgiveness is right. Thank you though.

  83. poohpity says:

    I think a good example is when Peter denied Christ yet did not ask for forgiveness yet Christ restored him to a right relationship with Himself.

  84. SFDBWV says:

    Deb, I want to bring to mind a scripture verse, if I may.

    Romans 12:20 “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for inso doing thou shat heap coals of fire on his head.”

    Verses 17,18,and 19 also have input to the matter.

    When I was younger I thought that this verse meant I would be condeming them to torment, but I have learned that the coals of fire mean that, they will feel the heat of their offence. By our praying for them and showing kindness for their unkindness.

    If they do not repent of their transgressions against us then God will deal with them through our acts of love.

    Easy to say, tougher to actually do.

    Wish you could be here tomorrow for dinner.


  85. marma says:

    I’m glad that Poohpity brought up the definition of forgiveness. I think that is what is at the core of what we are talking about. Forgiveness is a very biblical concept and not present in all cultures. This makes sense because restoring a relationship is something God models very well for us, but humans don’t model well for one another.

  86. jjhis says:

    Please explain what Jesus was saying in John 20:22-23 “And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” I realize this was spoken to His disciples, but does it not apply to us as believers today? BTW this translation of the verse came from the ESV but the KJV and the NIV seem to say the same. The question is what are they saying?

  87. Jing says:

    jjhis, I believe he was saying the only route to forgiveness is in Him by receiving the Holy Spirit. After this, Christ directed the apostles to declare the only method by which sin would be forgiven. This power did not exist at all in the apostles as a power to give judgment, but only as a power to declare the character of those whom God would accept or reject in the day of judgement. ie I believe he was saying some will profess to be Christians but their life will show they are not forgiven of their sins.

  88. jjhis says:

    Thank you for your comments. I do agree with what you said. I had been wrestling with these verses on to forgive or not to forgive, and this verse came to mind.
    Galatians 6:1-6 also talks about reconciliation and restoration which would involve forgiving the transgression of the brother in Christ. Could the burden we are to bear for one another be the withholding of forgiveness until the repentance of the transgressor?

  89. Jing says:

    “Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit” He gave them power that would work inside them and they did not have the power to forgive sin like Christ does. Only God can forgive sin. What he was doing was directing them that they could tell some they were forgiven and others might withhold that info if they weren’t sure of their salvation. He was saying “God has forgiven you [to those that appeared to really have repented] but
    they had the option to “remain silent” on those they weren’t sure of their salvation.
    truly had forgiven them.

  90. Jing says:

    omit last line. A little problem typing on Word and pasting.

  91. poohpity says:

    Steve, thank you for the invite wish I could be there too. The boys and I are going to eat at a restaurant and then to the movie. I do pray that my family has blessed Thanksgiving and they will be greatly missed in my heart.

  92. poohpity says:

    I also wish all of the bloggers on this site and our fearless leader a very, very blessed Thanksgiving. May God grant you peace in your families because you never know when they will not be around. Love Deborah

  93. Hisgirl4life says:

    I am so thankful for the opportunity to discuss and uplift God’s word with all of you! You have all been a great blessing to me during a very difficult season. Thank you for allowing me to share with you. I wish you all a very Blessed Thanksgiving. May you all feel the warmth and love of Jesus’ love wrapped around you and your families.

  94. phpatato says:

    Thank you Daisy for your thoughts. They shadow my thoughts on that example.

    Lately, I am having to deal with the issue of forgiveness vs bitterness. An incident about a month ago has left me feeling very angry and the root of bitterness has begun to sprout.

    My mother needed a blood transfusion because her hemoglobin was dangerously low. She was scheduled to be picked up by ambulance to be transported to the hospital for the procedure. The exact time could not be confirmed as it was depended upon the availability of the transport ambulance. I had asked the nursing home 3 times that when they knew of the time, to please phone me so that I could meet mom there (she wouldn’t have to be alone). At 90, mom is suffering from dementia and could not possibly answer the questions that would be put forward. Mom has a bad heart, low and high blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension) and a hip replacement gone bad which has confined her to a wheelchair (being unable to walk) for several years now. The nursing home failed to phone me at the time of pick up and in their wisdom called me about an hour and a half later. What happened in that hour and a half was so…..???!!! The ambulance attendants dropped mom off at the blood unit and left the building (an investigation into that is ongoing). She had asked to use the washroom so the nurse (without knowing her history) stood her up and “helped” her walk down the hall. The nurse left her to return a minute or so later to find her on the floor. The exertion of walking taxed her heart and she coded blue. She was just rallying around when I got there.

    My mother almost died that day. Her memory (from being coded) has diminished greatly. As a family, we are devastated. As her daughter, I am angry. I am bitter. This being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I am finding that I loathe walking into the nursing home. What happened to mom was exactly what I didn’t want to happen. The sole reason for my 3 explicit requests of being notified of the transport was to avoid this. The sad thing is that in the 2 years of my parents being in the nursing home, this type of forgetful neglect has been on going. Not once has the nursing home stepped up to apologize. They admit no wrong and put it down to a miscommunication. I have a 20 page journal documented over a one year period on their “miscommunication”. How can I deal with this type of behaviour. My head is raw from banging it against the wall. My heart is heavy. I have forgiven them (which lately is becoming just a lip service to me) but as was stated by someone earlier, I find it hard to forget, especially in light of the fact that I know tomorrow when I walk in to visit, there will be something else. And the worst part?? My sister’s bitterness is worse than mine and her health is beginning to suffer.

    Please pray for us.

  95. jjhis says:

    Dear phpatato,
    I, too, have had similar experiences as you just shared with my mom which has led me to deal with anger, bitterness, forgiveness, etc. I should say which has led me to our Lord to ask for His help in dealing with these feelings and with the people who seemed to care very little about my mom. I’m not speaking of all, as I’m sure you have had some who have been like angels sent from God as I have, but how do we deal with forgiveness of the others? And, for me, as I have said earlier, my mom also still has bitterness and does not want to forgive. All we can do is ask the Lord for His grace as Hebrews 12:14-15 says “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled”. May God give us all His grace to love and to forgive and the wisdom to know when and what to say to be pleasing to Him.

  96. Mart De Haan says:

    If we define forgiveness as releasing the right to get even;or setting aside the right to punish then it makes sense that forgiveness should be unconditional. We have no right as followers of Christ to return evil for evil, or to carry out vengeance– which is God’s prerogative.

    However, defining forgiveness like this does not account for the way Jesus uses it in Luke 17:1-4 and in other places where God, Jesus, and Paul all make forgiveness dependent on the repentance of the offender.

    Here’s what a classic reference and study volume says: Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and 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.

    Seems to me that our generation has learned how “to forgive” to get the anger out of our own stomachs. That bears little resemblance to the practice of forgiving in a way that is for the good of the other person.

    Love, mercy, patience, faith, hope, trust etc. all are ways of giving vengeance to God– while trusting him for the grace to love (show kindness) to the one who has harmed us.

    We could say that this is just a matter of words. But if our definition causes us to misunderstand or to neglect certain things our Lord says about when to forgive, and when not to forgive– while always loving– we might need to look again…

  97. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    We have no cocept of Thanks Giving here but I wish you all God’s blessing.
    I have been in the USA for Thanks Giving Thursday but was training in Silicon Valley as you were all on holiday.

  98. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    concept, sorry!

  99. Hisgirl4life says:

    Perhaps Mart the perfect mathematical equation for forgiveness would read…

    Conviction + Confession + Repentance = Restored Relationship and Fellowship + Forgiveness

    On the other hand, a mathematical equation for unforgiveness might read…

    Rebellion + Free Will + Justification (Blame, Excuses, Pride) = Broken Fellowship and Relationship with others and God.

    By not believing and accepting Christ and his forgiveness of our sin, we unduly accept the full punishment of our sin…a life eternally separated from God.

  100. Ron Ben Yaakov says:

    Shalom Mart. Amen, and, Amen! Wonderful analysis of God’s Word. Your comment, “we might need to look again,” ties-in with Paul’s exhortation to Timothy: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the Word of Truth” [2 Timothy 2:15]. The term, as you probably know, “RIGHTLY DIVIDING” the Truth is overlooked, which means, “We need to look again.” And, again, and again, and again….

    This illustration came to me many years ago. During my junior high school days, I took a class in Biology. One of the assignments our teacher gave us was taking a frog; alive, killing it, then dividing the parts in order to see how it functioned. Gory? Oh, yeah! Messy? Oh, yeah!

    I found out that frogs have a lot of parts: Flesh, bones, muscles, tendons, intestines, blood vessels, hearts, lungs, eye balls, brains, and many more parts too numerous to mention at this time.

    Once we dissected the frogs, our teacher would explain how each part functioned, and how each part related to other parts, but she couldn’t explain it unless we had first dissected our frogs into individual parts. The term she used was “dissecting” frogs to see how they functioned.

    Carrying this example over to Paul’s statement: “RIGHTLY DIVIDING” the Truth…this term refers to Bible students dissecting God’s Word, which is Truth [John 17:17].

    There’s so much to say, but I’ll close with this term “RIGHTLY DIVIDING….” I too love to refer to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary, along with the Strong’s Concordance. For the benefit of all reading my short analysis (examination of a thing to determine its parts), pay close attention to Vine’s definition of the term given:

    Greek: orthotomeo/Strong’s reference number in the Greek Dictionary #3718. This is a literal definition: “to cut straight: (orthos, “straight,” temno, “to cut”), is found in 2 Timothy 2:15, KJV, “rightly dividing,” RV, “handling aright” (the word of truth); the meaning passed from the idea of cutting or “dividing,” to the more general sense of “rightly dealing with a thing.” What is intended here is not “dividing” Scripture from Scripture, but teaching Scripture accurately. In the Sept., of directing one’s paths, Prov. 3:6 and 11:5 (“righteousness traces out blameless paths”)….end of Vine’s definition

    This, folks, is what we must do. When we say, “I don’t believe this and I don’t believe that…The Scriptures don’t say that,” this is not “rightly dividing the Word of Truth….” When we make statements as such, it doesn’t benefit anyone, including ourselves if we don’t have Scripture backing us up. I’m just as guilty as anyone else: Making empty statements! I say, empty statements because if we don’t have Scripture that’s in alignment with any statements we make on this blog, then, they are just words, and they don’t edify the hearer: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of EDIFYING, that it may MINISTER GRACE unto the hearers” [Ephesians 4:29].

    So, we need to be students of the Word of God, as well as dissectors, if you will! Dissecting God’s Word, but not pulling Scripture out of context in order to try to prove our point/interpretation. There’s no private interpretation in God’s Word, other than by His Spirit: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation” [2 Peter 1:20]. This ties-in with Yeshua’s teaching: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth; for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will shew you things to come (prophecy of the Scripture)” [John 16:13].

    I hope this makes sense!

    Thanks Mart and the rest of the family. I want to wish all of you a blessed time as you gather with family and friends to “rightly divide” the turkey, and gain 20 pounds. Enjoy. Shalom, Shalom.

    Love in Messiah Yeshua,

    Ron Ben Yaakov

  101. foreverblessed says:

    What seems appropriate to me here is that both could be true:
    -we must always forgive, unconditionally in the heart, to keep our souls healthy
    -we must withhold forgiveness for the benefit of the offender, till he repents.
    Both are together true, parallel lines.
    Just like predestionation and free will.

  102. daisymarygoldr says:

    Giving forgiveness is always unconditional but receiving forgiveness is conditional.

  103. foreverblessed says:

    For the example of the preacher shaking of the dust from his feet, does not say that he should not forgive. It just doesn’t mention forgiveness at all.
    Just walk away, do not get angry. Leave it in the hands of God. He is responsible for the saving of souls, not we.
    We could even think when we walk off: I hope the next preacher coming around has more listening ears than I did.
    Beinbg in a forgiving spirit while walking away.

  104. foreverblessed says:

    DMG, yes, that’s it.

  105. marma says:

    Thanks for the clarification and definition, Mart. It reminds me to go to the Word of God and open my Vine’s more often!

    I especially appreciated your comment: “Seems to me that our generation has learned how “to forgive” to get the anger out of our own stomach’s. That bears little resemblance to the practice of forgiving in a way that is for the good of the other person.”

    What an important emphasis. Forgiveness, as the world knows it, is to heal the person who was hurt or wronged, whereas God’s forgiveness heals the wrongdoer.

    I only found this blog this year, and it has been a great blessing to me. Something more to be thankful for this year.


  106. RZR says:

    Forgiving is giving love, un forgiveness is a lack of love. To remain in a resentful state is death, it dries up the soul and makes it bitter. So I choose to live in forgiving others when they offend me, it set me free.

  107. phpatato says:

    Dear jjhis

    Thank you for your encouragement. It is comforting to know that I am not the only one dealing with the huge responsibilities of taking care of an elderly parent or parents. It is heartbreaking to see how the aging process robs them of their body and minds. All seniors everywhere deserve the utmost respect and dignity. They have certainly paid their dues.

    I will cling to the verse that you have shared with me. Thank you for that. I will remember you and your mother in my prayers.

    To all my American Beenthinkers, please accept my very best wishes for a very Blessed Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday. I hope to be in a Walmart near me on Friday to shop the specials that are never that good in Canada. :-)

    God Bless You All…regardless of where you call home.

  108. poohpity says:

    Mart, I have searched the scriptures and have found that some had to ask for forgiveness, some were just given it, some had to change before it was given and some were given it then it was taken back. So it seems that all bases were covered. I wanted to give the scripture references for each but I have run out of gas tonight.

  109. foreverblessed says:

    It is a hard time to carry the burden of your old parents to the end. It is terrible what happened to your mother, and the more painful because of human mistakes. Now you can be angry at certain people who were careless. I wish you succes in dealing with this.
    It would be a lot easier for you if your parents did say that they do not want to be treated anymore. That they would declare that their life was full, and good. But your mother dementing it is doubtfull wether she can say that now.
    My mother-in-law (85) did say this, she does not want to be taken to hospitalif things go wrong, she does not want to be reanimated if personel would find her. Her mind is very clear, her body frail.
    It is hard anyway, but if things go wrong, we do not have to worry so much, she says, life has been good, and there is a time to go.
    But on the other hand when things have to be done, there is always a child with her. She is never left alone. We often drive the 2 hours to see her, or take her somwhere for control. She has sugar, a thyroid not working, lung problems. So many things that can go wrong.
    Last Thursday it looked as if she was going to die, with her body holding water. All her childeren were asked to come and say goodbye on Friday. And on Saturday she was all up in the wheelchair again. Yesterday we burried her sister who was 90 years old.
    Try to see this as a learning period for you to see that God is there anyway, even if things go wrong with your parents. Try to find that peace again. Search for it. Ask God for it. It is a journey in growing to trust God.
    I pray for your peace in this. This is a thing called carry each others burden. You tell what bothers you, fellow christians weep with you, try to encourage you. But most of all pray for you, because God is the source of our peace.

  110. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Mart for this question, it made me search the bible again, and most of all ask God for explenation, because He is the One to instruct us.

    Gal 6:1-3
    Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
    Romans 2:1-16
    When we judge and we ourselves do the same things, but are not yet aware of it, we are in danger. Forgiving is the save way out of this.
    That’s why so many sins go from one generation to the other, because of the hardening of the hearts by judging, and not forgiving.
    Like many have said, RZR, to keep our hearts in love.

    We have to watch ourselves because it is easy to be caught in the same sin, especially when you judge (in the sense of harsh disapproval).

    Romans 2: 2-3
    Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?
    Gods insight is so much deeper, He understands the sin of people, where we do not. We should strife to get understanding about peoples sin. Seek the truth in it.

  111. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Ron Ben Yaakov

    I want to thank you again for your stern words to me over the past week or so and I have really turned to Messiah and asked for His forgiveness in my lack of obedience.
    I was also habouring resentment to my old boss who sacked me.
    It is not an easy road for me at the moment and, yes, I was walking the “wide way to destruction”, it seems so much easier than the “narrow way” to Jesus.
    I will seek out my old church again and look for fellowship. I have been alone for so long and just want someone to share my life with. Maybe Jesus is the only partner for me, He was certainly my “Love” at 16+

    May God Bless you and your wife and I wish you a very happy thanks giving!


  112. foreverblessed says:

    Wow, Bob, you have made huges steps! Thanks to God!

    This topic made me think. I was walking alongside a fellow christian, we encouraged each other, thanked God for guidance. In our walk slowly I began to feel strange. Her comments changed, she would talk about the colour blue, which would be good for me, it was not the remarks but a sense of warning in my head, but did’t know as yet where it came from. I left it in Gods hands.
    Then some day, when having dinner together she said to me, this food was dead!
    There it was, now I knew where the signposts of danger where coming from.
    She happened to do the raw food diet: No food is ever cooked or backed or anything, because it kills the life in the food, and so poisons the body. It is the sign of the Life of Jesus Christ that she eats that, she does it in glory to Him, she sais.
    At first I was loving, explaining from scripture that the kingdom of God is not about food or drink ,and others scriptures. But she wouldn’t listen to me. She said, it did not sound as if God was talking to her through me.
    Then God started to tell me her problem was deeper then the food, another problem, but maybe I was not calm enough to see it, and understand it to be in able minister unto her. Galatians 6:1
    Then I started to withdraw, because her visions were disturbing to my walk of faith.
    When she wanted contact with me, I wrote a letter very gentil, while writing it, God showed me Proverbs 24:12
    Rescue those being led away to death, hold back those staggering towards slaughter.
    I read this verse by “coincidence” looking for another scripture while writing this letter. This verse so struck me, and immediately I knew I had to be very stern, very direct in admonishing her to turn back from this way of eating. A stern warning I wrote, and no nice and easy things like “all will be well with your soul”. I was not allowed to do that. And did send this letter.
    No reaction whatsoever, nothing. Not even aften 2 years.
    Now here is the question I ask myself, did I forgive her? Or is this what Mart means, witholding forgiveness. Because, really, all the while there is no topic of forgiveness, only that she turns from her ways.
    The question is more, am I resentfull to her? Am I waiting like the father of the prodigal son, waiting in a spirit of forgiveness? That when she would return I would be very happy for her?
    As Mart wrote, the people in Corinth didn’t do that, they were unforgiving when the man came back. They were not waiting at the front of the house, looking afar if the prodical son would come home.

    God is eagerly waiting for all man to be saved, His Grace is all over this world, waiting for any who would turn to Him.
    RBY says I should add scripture to prove what I am writing:
    1 Timothy 2:3-4
    3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
    Psalm 53:3
    God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

    (How can you write this in a more compact way?)

  113. foreverblessed says:

    Since this topic is now out of line, here is some about forgiveness to read,
    This is why I am called foreverblessed!
    (The mentor of Oswald Chambers was this Spurgeon)

    C.H. Spurgeon evening meditation,november 27
    “The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7
    Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, forever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and forever? Hell is my portion as a sinner—there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me—can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. Forever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and forever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive forever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.

  114. kingsdaughter says:

    Forever Blessed…let me add this…the writings of Charles H. Spurgeon has sustained me since my son’s death. When I could not read the Bible (because in my raw grief I only read and “heard” the punishing and condemning verses that seemed to say how wrong we all are..I got no relief.) After desperate hours of prayer I believe God led me to these writings that I already had, “Morning and Evening Devotion”…I was delighted, as best I could be, and a peace came over me for just a day…but it was so welcomed and I now have more peaceful days than I did in the beginning. My little paperback devotional is limp and unraveling from reading and rereading what I needed to know…what I could not understand on my own…in my grief. I needed to know that God did not turn away my son. “I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37 I am forever grateful for the anointed writings of the poetic and powerful sermons of Spurgeon.

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Kongs daughter, that is really great news! The grace that is flowing from his writing is always filling me with thankfulness! I wish I could talk about God’s grace like that.
    Thanks to God that He does give you His peace!

  116. foreverblessed says:

    Kings Daughter, is what should have been written there.
    Stay in there! Still praying for you.
    May God grant you peace, and He already has!
    For your son, if we would know how he is doing now, just being at the feet of Jesus, we would not have been so sad. But if God doesn’t show you this, you have to trust God for being a merciful God. He will not resent any who will call on His name.

    Psalm 91:
    14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

    15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.

  117. kingsdaughter says:

    Thank you everyone for your wisdom, your prayers and your words of encouragement in what is the most difficult time of my life. I am glad I discovered this site…or rather, that God directed me to this site. I praise God for His mercy and grace.

  118. Positive Thinker says:

    In my mind I have forgave everyone who has done me wrong. But it is hard to see the lies and false witness and false charges and arrests on public court records that people judge me by. Instead of going directly to the main souce, (me), they take the words of other men (as the gospel truth)from the internet and court records, instead of confronting me and hearing the rest of the story and the final truth that will prove that these public reports (not all) but most, are a false witness against my real character. It hurts in more ways than one! Winston

  119. Positive Thinker says:

    To add to my above comment and leave on a “Positive” note, the people who have lied against me and caused these lies to be believed as the truth by the judges in the court system, and placed on public record, will be punished as stated in The Holy Bible. So therefore I will leave this situation in The Hands of Almighty God! Winston

  120. Lively says:

    I might not have joined this blog, had it not been for this entry. I’m a bit late for a comment as this is about a month old – but here I am anyway.

    I’m curious about opinions on this subject. One of the examples was of Jesus asking forgiveness for those that didn’t understand what they were doing, “Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). They didn’t ask for forgiveness, He asked for it anyway. Shouldn’t we use that as an example that there are times when we should forgive even when the person doesn’t ask for it?

    God blessed me with a forgiving nature, there’s only been one time in my life that I truly had to work at forgiving someone. He didn’t ask for it, but I kept turning the other cheek – over and over and over. To top it off, he wasn’t even a Christian. He took my home, two of my children, my life as I knew it with lies and deceit. Like many other’s it took this extremely dark period of life for me to turn back to God – I had seriously strayed. Until I reaffirmed my faith in Him, I wasn’t able to forgive my husband at the time for what he was doing. Then, I started to pray for him and forgave him. Almost a year later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Six months after that, we were friends and he had found his own faith. At that point, he asked me to forgive him. Six months after that, he passed into God’s arms.

    Many people, fellow Christians included, didn’t understand how I could forgive him. Some even told me it wasn’t Biblical. I disagree and I think the passage from Luke bears me out. Until this evening, I didn’t have an answer, except that God moved me to forgive and gave me the strength to be able to do it, I certainly didn’t do it myself. Am I way off base, or is Luke 23:34 a valid example of forgiving someone without being asked by him for the forgiveness?

  121. foreverblessed says:

    Lively, thank you so much for sharing your story.
    And I am with you, Christ’s example forgiving those who did not know what they were doing, killing Jesus, the immaculate, the sinless one. And yet Jesus forgave them. That is our example.
    Thanks for sharing!

    I agree, forgiving is what we always have to do, regardless of what the other person does. Because forgiveness means letting go of wrath yourself, handing the judgment over to God.

    You did not only forgive, you also turned the other cheeck, and that is a step further on.

    But the thing is, you could do this after you had reaffirmed your faith in Christ, and God gave you the power to do forgive, and to turn the other cheeck.
    So you are someone who can preach this, turn the other cheeck, because you have experienced this yourself, with God’s grace.
    What I believe is thi: unless you have experienced it yourself you cannot preach it. So if I have not turned the other cheeck to my enemy, I cannot tell someone else to do just that.

    But you have experienced it! And so you can teach others. But only in the love of God. Because you went looking for God in your troubles, and found Him again, and He filled you with love and faith, and the resistance to be able to turn the other cheeck.

    Thanks so much for your sharing.

  122. Lively says:

    Thank you, forever.

    Normally, I’m not so bold to share things like this – I still find myself woefully ignorant on scripture and at times I find myself outside the “mainstream” school of thought, like in this instance. It’s good to know there is a valid reference to this kind of forgiveness in scripture.

    That was the extreme short version of the story – forgiveness was one of many lessons that God brought to fruition during that time.

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