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Letting it Go

Photo by: Arun Joseph

I’ve been trying to go to school on the discussion following my last post on forgiveness. Along the way I’ve had doubts about whether I should have once again re-introduced the idea of knowing when to “lovingly withhold forgiveness.”

The very suggestion resulted in so much misunderstanding that at times I feared that I had started an “argument about words” that was not moving toward the goal of  “bringing us together around matters that so easily divide us” (1Tim 6:4).

So let’s acknowledge what I think we can agree on. We all recognize the danger of unresolved, bitter, anger that leads to an obsession with trying to get even with someone who has harmed us.

We intuitively sense that we cannot grow spiritually if we are filled with contempt even for an enemy—that we know our Lord teaches us to love.

We also recognize that to forgive one another may still require us to lovingly hold one another accountable for follow through.

In the past, when purposely trying to work through emotionally charged issues, we’ve seen how important it is to get to the place where we respect one anothers’ right to disagree, while trying to know when to not press an issue beyond anothers’ patience.

In that regard, this last conversation on forgiveness has reminded me of the many different ways we come to such a discussion. Some are already so overstretched by the emotions of current responsibilities, past harms, or of lingering conflict, that “letting go of a desire for revenge” seems not only necessary for spiritual survival, but the only thing that really matters.

At this point I’d say to such persons, if that’s the way you are feeling, then you are right. Letting go of those bitter, re-cycling obsessions, and giving them to God so that we can express really Christ-like love toward others is where we need to be.

So on that ground we can, I believe, stand together.

Where we will apparently have to respect one another in our disagreement is over whether the following questions are helpful to clarify what we each have come to believe about forgiveness: i.e.

  1. Does our personal understanding of forgiveness enable us to better love (seek the highest good of) our enemies?
  2. Does our personal understanding of forgiveness enable us to see the right and wrong way of detaching ourselves from those who have harmed us?
  3. Does our personal understanding allow for what Jesus and Paul taught about holding accountable “brothers and ‘sisters” who harm us?
  4. Is forgiveness the only Christian virtue that we think can resolve the issue of our bitterness?

If so—then whatever it is that is keeping us apart is a far lesser issue… and something to–

…………………………………..let go :-)…

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77 Responses to “Letting it Go”

  1. foreverblessed says:

    An arguments about words, while we mean the same thing.
    My last comment could have been posted here, about Joseph who tested his brothers, and did not show them his forgiveness. Till he saw that they realised what a terrible thing they had done.
    A very good day all of you, and God bless you.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Concerning the 4 questions Mart put forward in his opening remarks; For me it is an easy yes to the first 3.

    The last question you ask, Is forgiveness the only Christian virtue that we think can resolve bitterness. Has a different answer from me.

    I see forgiveness as a begining point, a doorway to freeing ones self of unnecessary, harmful baggage. That can stunt and retard your prayer life, as well as spiritual development in all areas of your relationship with God.

    Once free of unforgiveness, all of the virtues of Christianity can come together to heal bitterness and issues that can cause resentment to reapear in your life. These other Christian virtues are very well expressed in Gal 5:22-23

    Love covers a multitude of misunderstandings and hurts, but as Mart has rightly expressed….Sometimes it is necessary to let go, and move on.


  3. workinprogres says:

    Is it even right to detach yourself from people who have hurt you?

  4. Mart De Haan says:

    When I woke up this morning and read what I had posted in the middle of the night, I realized that the wording of the third question above wasn’t what I meant. I had written, “Does our personal understanding allow for what Jesus and Paul taught about holding accountable those who harm us?” When I read that I realized it needed to refer specifically to “brothers and sisters in the Lord.” While I believe the principle of “what does love require” can have wider implications, it seems to me that both Jesus and Paul were showing “brothers and sisters in Christ” how to love one another well.

  5. Charis says:


    Joseph had forgiven in the psychological sense of “letting go” of bitterness, anger, revenge, but as you pointed out he did not TRUST those who had offended against him, and he still felt hurt/pain (Gen 42:24) and maintained a relational distance.

    I have wondered how God feels when we offend against Him? I imagine He feels hurt, but not resentful.

    Another passage which I read recently and relates to this discussion in my mind was one about FIRE. In Luke 12:49ff Jesus said he came to bring FIRE upon the earth and He wished it was already kindled. Then immediately, he speaks of bringing not peace but division in a whole list of intimate relationships.

    Makes me think that conflict in intimate relationships should not necessarily be viewed in a negative light. It is a furnace for our purification.

  6. nenejackson says:

    Because of forgiveness, I am able to love. It’s because of love that I’ve been forgiven. God saw Himself, His desire to live in me, and all that He could do in and through me. Because He resides on the inside of me, I’m able to see God in everyone, inspite of what they’ve done, are doing, and will do to me. Is it an easy task? No. The most difficult part is in that moment staying centered in where God is on the inside of me. What I’ve realized in that is, organically, remaining centered appears that you are non-responsive, and the wrong done is reflected back to the individual. The battle becomes their struggle with themselves, and not mine. I don’t have to be right, I don’t have to appear to win, I don’t have to defend myself, as God fights all of my battles for me. My mantra, “study to be quiet.”

    I Love them anyway, even if it means at a distance; wheter they deserve it or not…I’m not the judge. Forgivenss hasn’t meant to me, that I have to tolerate, or maintain the relationship; but I with intention are aware of how much sin I’ve committed that has been thrown in the sea of forgetting.

    I’m practicing love! Always

  7. poohpity says:

    Within the church I attend one of the young ladies who goes to every function and is really involved in the church told a group of women about her intent of living with the man she has been dating. No one pulled her aside and talked to her about how that fits in with her beliefs or values as a Christian. After much soul searching I decided to talk with her about it by first explaining how much I care about her and that I had also been like that before Christ. She became very angry with me. A couple of weeks later she walked past me without saying a word, not even a hello. I called her over and asked her if she was angry with me and she said yes.

    Sometimes when we hold a brother/sister accountable it will damage a relationship. Inside I really wanted her not to be mad at me and wanted to fix the relationship someway but I knew I was speaking the truth in love. I harmed her even with gentle words. I told her that I cared about her or I would not have said anything. I wanted her forgiveness and understanding but that may not ever happen.

  8. Charis says:


    You mention your doubts about having raised these topics and fears regarding the fruits.

    I see you as a peacemaker.
    Blessed are the Peacemakers
    not to be confused with peacekeepers

    Making Peace is a lot messier than “keeping the peace” by conflict avoidance.

    Speaking for myself, I value your role model of handling the atmosphere of conflict which you have observed on these topics in a constructive, respectful, spiritually edifying and challenging manner.

    Thank you and may your tribe increase!


  9. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpiy, faithful are the wounds of a friend.

  10. bubbles says:

    Perhaps your friend was upset not by you, but by the truth she probably already knew. Maybe she was tkaing it out on you. Surely she knew the truth about right and wrong in this area?

  11. elliosle says:

    Joseph is an excellent example of attitude and favor of God. I want to point out David ( a man after God’s own heart ) and his relationship with King Saul.
    Forgiveness/ unforgiveness obviously a concern yet his love for this man ( The King ) superseded his getting even with the one(s) whom had intentionally wronged him.
    I really enjoyed reading the feedback. Thank you.
    My point is this: The trust is what kept David alive. Joseph is one of my favorite Bible characters..

    Steve E.

  12. poohpity says:

    I was thankful that she shared her anger while not trying to hurt me in return. As you said above, ““letting go of a desire for revenge” seems not only necessary for spiritual survival, but the only thing that really matters.” That truly shows if someone is in a place of real forgiveness when they do not desire to retaliate or have a one up type of attitude.

    It would be nice if while on this journey of learning about the extent of the forgiveness in all areas we do not bypass compassion, real care and concern. I do not believe I will ever have all these lessons down pat but I know God will continue to take me through them until my understanding grows.

  13. poohpity says:

    That could be bubbles.

  14. davids says:

    This topic and the last, along with the replies, caused me to reflect on a long-standing issue I had. At the point that I was accepting Christ into my life around eight years ago, my wife’s brother verbally attacked me very harshly about some issues at the time. My response was not full of grace, to say the least.

    He and I had been very close. This doesn’t really touch on Mart’s thrid question since he is not a believer.

    Since then, my learning to walk in the faith has been intertwined with how I should deal with this relationship. We see each other several times a year, so it wasn’t something I could ignore.

    I struggled with my new understanding of God’s forgiveness and repentance. Had I not been trying to conform myself to Christ’s example, I surely would have harbored that injury in my heart and we would be feuding to this day.

    My personal understanding of forgiveness allowed me to put the event away by saying that I forgive him in my heart. I would be courteous for the sake of God and the family, but true reconciliation was not possible as long as he did not admit his wrong.

    A week ago, I got into a very difficult situation that required financial and physical help. My brother-in-law came to the rescue.

    So to Mart’s first two questions I would say that yes, my personal understanding of forgiveness allowed me to let go of the bitterness and to treat me “enemy” with respect, and to detach myself in a peaceful way.

    About Mart’s fourth question, I would say that other Christian virtues come into play here. Charity, meaning that we view each person as a child of God, is important. Patience also: if you feel that one has harmed you, it is easy to allow their later words and actions feed into your sense of hurt. Rather than reacting immediately, it is best to allow time to restore some objectivity.

  15. davids says:

    Charis, I’m glad you are not too busy with your studies yet. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts.

  16. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Finishing up with a night cap of hot chocolate and honey graham cookies. Yum!
    Hope all is well with you today. Just Read Mart’s intro comment, but, alas, it’s my bedtime. So, looking forward to sharing my thoughts tomorrow! :)

    50’s and sunny today in Texas.

  17. Jason says:

    I think God must really want me to learn more about forgiveness these days. I just listened to a sermon about forgiveness. It was about the last supper when Jesus washed the disciples feet, then told them in the future to wash each others feet, follow his example. The pastor said washing feet is an analogy of being forgiving, loving, compassionate and merciful. He also said we are to serve others and keep a spirit of humility. This hits home for me when I get frustrated with people’s behavior at work, I need to keep in mind that they are not perfect and God forgave me/us even before we sinned. Quite often there is a reason people act a certain way, their upbringing, experiences, physical and/or mental health. Sometimes I need to remind myself to live and let live.

    A beautiful day in Saskatchewan, we hit 3 c (37 f)

  18. BruceC says:


    You hit the nail on the head. WE ALL are learning more about forgiveness. The Lord has dealt with me about this issue much over the years. And He continues to do so. Detachment (after forgiveness) is good in some; but not all, situations. And although painful at first can be for the better of both parties in the long run. But I think we need to seek the Lord’s direction before it’s done. Forgiveness can also be the birth of a better, deeper relationship with a person also. And a time of growth. I agree with the poster who previously stated that unforgiveness is a like a cancer that can eat away at both you and the other involved. When I read about Joseph, or the parable of the prodigal son I am always touched in my heart by the Lord.

    Off topic a tad. A bit chilly here at four AM. Minus 20 F. Wifey has been up most of the night feeding the woodstove and keeping the faucets on low to avert frozen pipes. Likely will get a bit cooler by sunrise. Always does. So now I’m awake and it’s her time for a good sleep. Seen it as low as minus 45 here years ago. That starts to get painful. Stay warm, brothers and sisters in Christ! But let the “warmth” start from the inside!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  19. dinakar says:

    Dear All,
    I have enjoyed reading all your posts and would like to add my 2 cents to it.
    If the muscle next to my wrist bone started to complain that it was too hard and not acceptable to work along side, I would have a big problem. My muscles and bones do not have “a right” to choose who to work with positionally.

    This is what precisely happens in the body of Christ

    To stick to a point of judgment (or a standard) will call for enforcement and before you know it, you would have taken authority that did not belong to you!!!
    This is a viscous cycle. Joshua 1:8 – says “This book of the LAW shall not depart out of your mouth” – very often I find my self doing just that, I make rules for others especially other believers.
    I tend to see any holding back of forgiveness as an act of Judgment (Matt 7:1) against my fellow christian. To feel “wronged” would mean I have a self or “I” issue which needs to be dealt with ! Ideally I believe a Christians approach to being hurt is a kin to “Water on a duck’s back” to hold anything back is not worth the effort.

    Mart – Do correct me if I’m wrong in this line of thinking

  20. pegramsdell says:

    If we are dead in Christ, how do we get offended so easily? Can a dead person be offended? Water on a duck’s back works for me. Good job Pooh, proud of you.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    BruceC, I can relate, it is -13 here this morning…Stay warm but safe.


  22. SFDBWV says:

    One of the great dangers of we Christians going to another and confronting them with what we may see as inapropriate behavior of any kind is this.

    People who live in glass houses should never throw stones…

    If we are to place ourselves in a position to correct anothers behavior, we had better be living a clean and spotless life ourselves or else we just look like hypocrite’s..

    Which is why most non christians see Christianity as being just that, hypocritical.

    Love overlooks faults, our better behavior should be seen as something to immitate. not thrown in the face of someone….

    I can remember a time when the Klu Klux Klan would burn a cross in the front yard of a persons house, who lived outside of accepted moral behavior.

    Their intent, to scare that person into living a more moral lifestyle, or face retribution….

    Of all the things Christians do, I think we must be very careful how we try to correct the behavior of another Christian, or else we face retribution on many levels ourselves.


  23. raffles952 says:

    @ poohpity: Maybe the reason she is angry is because she knows you are right and she doesn’t want you to be. Sounds like she was seeking others to validate what she is considering so she doesn’t feel guilty about doing what she knows deep down is actually wrong. I think you did the right thing by confronting her on it and telling her the truth that the others were afraid to tell.

  24. poohpity says:

    raffles952, It was not about me being right it was what the word of God says. I am not right a lot of times because I stand on the same ground that my friend does at the foot of the Cross.

    Steve is right about being very careful when we hold another accountable we can not be prideful and arrogant but the bible does teaches us to do that and we have to aware of our own propensity to sin. I do not feel however if I call myself a Christian I would retaliate in retribution if a brother/sister held me accountable for my behavior that would mean I am not open or able to believe that I still sin that would be very prideful and that anger would be self righteous.

    I have received correction many times from a loving friend and I know it was done in love and was upset at first but then I thanked them for their care and concern. I have also received correction from those that were not so loving but that still does not mean that it was something I needed to look at. If I think for a minute there will never be an area that needs work on in my life then I am just fooling myself. Solomon speaks many times about receiving correction it is a gift no matter how it is given whether in anger or concern we have to open to receive it.

  25. poohpity says:

    Gal 6:1 says, Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Disagreeing is not a sin but the anger found could be. She was going to commitment a sex sin and I do not know if she is currently having sex with him. There are those sins that could also be hidden, pride, self righteousness, idolatry, envy, anger, jealousy and many more. Would it be helping if we were to let it go? I know I would want someone to help me to overcome them gently from someone who also knows they have areas that need work to but it may be hard from someone who does not believe that they sin themselves.

  26. pegramsdell says:

    yeah, I mean who wants someone to tell them they’re doing wrong? I get that….but….if that person claims to be a Christian and tells you they are sinning on purpose what are you supposed to do? the bible is pretty clear on that. you weren’t being nosy. just obediant.

  27. pegramsdell says:

    she’ll come around and thank you someday. :)

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew 7:1-5
    :1 “JUDGE NOT, that ye be not judged.”
    :2 “For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
    :3 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
    :4 “Or how wilt thy say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?”
    : Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye.”

    Clear and straight forward words from Jesus, Himself.

    Be certain you are living a clean and holy life, before you take upon yourself the *duty* of showing another their sin.

    You may think that only you know what secret sin you harbor, and whether you have stopped from practicing it or not…but God knows and so do others.


  29. poohpity says:

    Steve I was not sitting in judgment of her. That is only for God to do. I am able to accept correction from others because I want to grow in my relationship to God and others. If I think I am never wrong which I do not that would be self righteousness on my part. When I first told this story I said before I said anything I did a lot of soul searching. That meant I looked within to see my sin and I did not talk to her with the attitude of superiority but as a concerned sister. I thought her response was very normal and very civil because she did not retort with retaliation or bitterness. Judgment and accountability are two totally different things.

    Back on topic when someone says they have forgiven someone and are letting it go they may not be by their response to the person the harbored feelings will always come out.

  30. poohpity says:

    Mart said, “We all recognize the danger of unresolved, bitter, anger that leads to an obsession with trying to get even with someone who has harmed us.” I think that is how we can tell if we have truly forgiven someone if when we are around a person again if they throw innuendo’s and sarcastic remarks then maybe they have sweep something under the rug and have never really dealt with the problem. They may not have truly “Let it Go”. Not speaking to someone or avoiding them is a passive aggressive way to display anger.

  31. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I personally don’t think it is our place to point out someone elses sin, that belongs to the Holy Spirit for those who are in Christ.
    It is our job to come alongside and support our brothers and sisters and give sound advice.
    I have to sit by and let my non christian friend arrange his cival partnership and ruin his muslim partners life and he is even talking to a priest to have his union blessed.
    I know the moral high ground etc. but my friend is living under differnt rules to me with regard to conscience and standards.
    I don’t have to say anything to him because he knows in his heart what is right. If I said anything it would just give him the excuse to react and what would that achieve.
    I heard some good advice once.
    When you hear or see a word or scripture that makes you think of someone else and it would be good for them to hear the same, then that word is really meant for you.
    It is so easy for us to see something in someone else but so hard for ourselves.
    The topic heading is “Letting it Go”
    Let it Go before God and pray for the person who is on your mind.
    Let Go and Let God and then He will make it obvious to the person concerned by convicting them of sin.


  32. davids says:

    Amen, Bob.

  33. poohpity says:

    Yes. Let’s all go to the pub and have a pint. No one has the right to say anything to anybody for anything. We are certainly not our brothers keeper. Paul had no right to tell that man not to have sex with his fathers wife in the church in Corinth. I absolutely agree not one of us should ever say anything to anybody because we have no room to talk. Joseph’s brothers had every right to be jealous of him and sell him into slavery. Everything everybody does is right in their own eyes so just let them do it.

  34. bubbles says:

    When we come alonside someone and show them what GOD’S WORD says about something, that is not judging them.
    Surely if this girl is “involved” in church, she should know that shacking up is not pleasing to God. If she does not, should not other Christian friends show her what God thinks of this? I think what you did was loving and brave. When she did move in with this man, she would hurt not only her testimony but that of the church she attends as well.

  35. bubbles says:

    alongside not alonside =(

  36. davids says:

    Deb (Poohpity),

    I very much enjoy reading your comments *most of the time*. Your knowledge of the Bible and wisdom are inspiring. Once in a while your replies tend toward sarcasm.

    The topic of this thread is forgiveness, which I understand to be when we have been harmed. And about letting go of that. In that context you brought up the case of a person that did not forgive you for confronting her with her sin.

    Now we have veered off into a direction about whether you were right in confonting her. I can find no case in Paul in which he told an individual to confront another with their sin. The plural of “You” in English is ambiguous, but I think it is clear that Paul was writing to congregations, except in specific cases.

    The pamphlets that Mart linked to the previous topic talk about several believers confronting a person with their sin, not a single believer – again, unless the person was themselves harmed.

    There is the danger that when an individual confronts a person with their sin, that the individual personalizes the situation and creates division.

    I pray for you and some others on this blog daily and thank you all for your contributions to this community.

  37. bubbles says:

    This blog is making me so so sad. It seems as though each time I come here to read what has been posted, there are unkind remarks that are being made towards one another continually.

    This used to be a pleasant place to stop by and read.

    It does not appear to be disagreements as much as it is picking on one another.

    It is just not the same type of place as it was back in the fall. . . or even a year ago. =*(

  38. Regina says:

    Good Evening All

    Mart asked,
    1.Does our personal understanding of forgiveness enable us to better love (seek the highest good of) our enemies?

    My answer is “yes.” Most, if not all, of us have been walking with the LORD long enough to know that He wants us to love our enemies and do good to those who would spitefully misuse us.

    2.Does our personal understanding of forgiveness enable us to see the right and wrong way of detaching ourselves from those who have harmed us?

    My answer is *yes.* Most, if not all, of us understand that we can’t end a relationship with someone who has harmed us with unforgiveness in our heart. We understand that we have to seek the Lord’s help in detaching ourselves from the relationship. Think we all know that the Lord desires for us to pray for those who have harmed us.

    3.Does our personal understanding allow for what Jesus and Paul taught about holding accountable “brothers and ‘sisters” who harm us?

    I think I understand this question better now, Mart, because you put quotation marks around the words “brothers and sisters” and that changes my whole point of view. Still, I think they would have to be remorseful and desire my forgiveness. If they don’t care (and that’s hard to imagine), it would be difficult, maybe impossible to hold them accountable.

    4.Is forgiveness the only Christian virtue that we think can resolve the issue of our bitterness?

    My answer is “no.” I think love is another Christian virtue that can resolve the issue of our bitterness, but it’s difficult to love someone and harbor bitterness in our heart towards them.

  39. poohpity says:

    You are right davids that last post of mine was sarcastic I was feeling frustrated. It was not Paul that told us to go to a brother/sister who sins it was Jesus. Matthew 18:15-17, 15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    Please forgive me for the sarcasm and thank you for holding me accountable. :-)

  40. poohpity says:

    Question 4 was “Is forgiveness the only Christian virtue that we think can resolve the issue of our bitterness?”

    I was thinking of self awareness.

  41. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Matthew 18 (Amplified Bible)

    15 If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

    16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

    17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.

    18 Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven.

    19 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [g]everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.

    20 For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.

    Some versions say “sin” in verse 15 with a note saying “sins against you” in later manuscripts. that implies to me that the original text was saying this is a personal wrong or sin that effects you and the other person, a grievence!
    This was after the parrable of the lost sheep.

    Verse 17 says if he doesn’t listen treat him like a pagan or tax collector. How did Jesus treat these people, He gave them time and loved them.

    After this Jesus emphasises the point that if we act together in one accord, God will hear us and answer our prayers.
    This is all about careing for one another, not letting ill feelings grow up between us, and not acting alone.


  42. dinakar says:

    One of Our popular christian songs goes like this
    “And they’ll know we are Christians by LOVE, by our LOVE”
    If the words of this song were true and I were the devil I would surely attack at your unity and love.

    Forgiveness is so vital to maintaining the LOVE among us and consequently our witness to those around us.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    The topic being forgiveness, and how we attain forgiveness or how we free ourselves of the bitterness of anger, resentment, and the feeling we need revenge.

    It keeps coming up from everyone, that love is the power over all these nasty feelings. For my part, I agree.

    Galatians 5:22-23 “But of the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy,peace,longsuffering,gentleness,goodness, faith.” “Meekness, temperance: Against such there is no law.”

    Love tops the list..If we love, we can be longsuffering toward someone who has wronged us.

    If we love, by being gentle and meek we can find joy and peace by being good to those who have wronged us.

    If we love, we can be temperant toward another by not being self indulgent, thinking of their weakness not their tresspass.

    If we love, we can have faith, that through all of these attributes and the grace of God, we can heal and be healed, find a friend or at least be able to move on toward the light of Christ. Knowing we have done all we can, and giving the matter to God…and let go.


    31 degrees this morning…looks like the weather is having a mood swing.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    How easy it is for me to talk of forgiving someone and moving on….Many times it just isn’t that easy.

    For a husband or wife who has had the miserable offence of infidelity cast upon them, there is a long list of pain and heartache that needs to be healed before they can let go or move on.

    For the family of a child who has been abused, tortured and killed, finding forgiveness may take a lifetime, or for some, never happen.

    The one thing that enables us to be able to endure lifes disasters, without revenge, is a relationship with Christ and with other believers who can offer what comfort they can, not judgement.

    No matter what is wrong in ones life, seek first the Kingdom of God, and everything else will come along in time.


  45. dussmiller says:

    Hi, I’m nrw to posting here and think thst anything that helps us understand better what God wants is good. I think the action taken by poohpity was courageous and an act of agape love because she may have sacrificed a friendship to help this young girl avoid a sin. This could turn out so tragic for this girl if she proceeds. She will become dreply attached to a man who has not made any commitment to her, she could become a single mother. That’s why it’s a sin, because of the dire impact and I see what poohpity has done as an act of love to help her avoid this,and like Jesus he haspaid a price, both from this girl and the misunderstanding on this board.

  46. wpleasant says:

    We are people of faith, but we are also daily subjected to human interactions. I know of few people who do anything like “real” forgiveness without expecting some purpose being achieved. Truth is the bible discusses several purposes for forgiveness, including “in order that Satan might not outwit us”. 2 Corinthians 2:11. I think most of us would be in agreement with that. On the other hand the apostle Paul also warned Christians to “not associate” with “anyone who calls himself a brother”, but practices sexual immorality. Notice, even here he does not encourage non-forgivenss, only disassociation. (Interestingly, Paul does not suggest we disassociate ourselves from people of the world who are “immoral”, “greedy”, “swindlers”, or “idolators”. 1 Corinthians 5:10-11. Not the we adoot their sinful behaviours, but it stands to reason that we can’t be light in darkeness if we always shun the darkness. Also we have a number of books and articles on forgiveness that caution us that some of our sicknesses can be attributable to unforgiveness. It seems to me that the an essential purpose of Christ directed, Christ inspired, and Christ empowered forgiveness is that it is one of the most effective witnessing tools we have. it results in some capicity in God being glorified. When we try to forgive under our own power it may not be real forgiveness or ineffective for the purposes we are trying to achieve. Extending forgiveness may not be at times like putting a coin in vending machine. The results may not be immediate. Other times it will. When Paul and Silas thought their jailer might kill himself they interceded and told him not to take his life. (Many of us would probably have said, “be my guest!”, if you knew what being shackled in a Roman jail was like.) And yet in that instance forgiveness resulted in the saving of not only the jailer, but in all probability some of his family as well.
    Fascinating topic.

  47. SFDBWV says:

    2 Corinthians 3:1 “Do We begin again to commend ourselves? Or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?”

    Ephesians 2:8&9, ” For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” ” Not of works lest any man should boast.”

    It seems this distraction from our topic is staying around, whether it is a good or bad thing for someoone to confront another about their sin.

    Many people here in this blog have been offended by people from church, to the point where they no longer attend church.

    So what good came from planting the seeds of strife?

    If you are a personal friend of someone who may be in sin, and you have gained their confidence in being a good, true, and loyal friend. Maybe then you can confront them about their sin and how it just does not serve God well or harms their witness.

    But to just take it upon yourself to tell another of their sin, while you yourself are in sin, is just hypocritical and will cause dissention, and hard feelings.

    If someone in your church is in sin, then as DavidS said, the officers of the church should be the ones to bring the issue to that individual. That is if the sin is so grievious that it needs to be treated as such…

    This is why people who are elected to be elders, deacons or such are to be people who have themselves demonstrated good Christ like behavior. So that correction comes from authority given them through the Body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit….Not just our judgement of anothers behavior.

    I would say that every single person here in this blog as well as setting in the pews at church, are guilty of sin themselves…

    It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict us of our wrong doing.

    To assume we are so above others as to place ourselves in a position of correcting their behavior, would seem to place us in quite a lofty opinion of ourself.

    The topic being how we find or give forgiveness, not how we harm the feelings of another and then expect kudos and forgiveness for it.


  48. djkeyboard says:

    We’ve been damaged several times in ministry. So often, I wonder why we keep heading back into church ministry at all. In fact, out of full time ministry for a year now, I find it difficult to move forward and forgive. I’ve struggled this past year, having been “laid off” from a large church whose pastor used “budgetary” shortfalls as a reason, yet I’ve discovered through non profit tax forms that he pays himself well over a million in salary each year. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve struggled with my sense of justice needing an outlet. The temptation to sue a “brother” has been great, even leading me to contact a lawyer who believes I have an excellent case. But, I cannot escape the bible verses concerning suing another believer. Instead, I’ve chosen to let it go in the knowledge that God Himself not only knows of this, but it is part of the plan He has for my life. And that becomes the real issue. How do we see my life as God sees it? How can I rest in His Grace even though there has been great harm and there is currently a wolf preying upon His sheep? I wrestle with what I know is right, versus what I’d love to see happen. The ability to withhold forgiveness is key for me in this situation. How can I forgive someone who uses the church as his own ATM machine? I don’t believe forgiveness is the issue here. Trusting that God will balance the books is… In the meantime, we seek His face and direction. A year without income is a tough life. Somewhere we hope to find the next door He will open.

  49. phpatato says:

    January 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    That is why I prefer to stop by every couple of days now and quickly scan the comments. It seems there are a few here that have bees in their bonnets lately. I just click out and shake my head thinking how much nicer people are on secular blogs…like facebook. Satan seems to have taken up residence on this blog and is of late having a field day. I am sorry for such disheartening comments Mart but I am feeling inside that they should be said.

    I am praying for Christ’s love to return and for people to think twice before letting their fingers loose. At the very least, to come in here in a good mood.


  50. poohpity says:

    I am thankful that everyone has felt safe enough to share your thoughts, opinions and feelings with me whether positive or negative. Although I have experienced on this blog many negative responses to the things I think and believe and have been able to work through some of the issues with some of the people, I still enjoy all the comments. I hope and pray together we can work through the difficulties and continue to blessed with the topics that Mart presents and that we can grow together in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I am not perfect and have never claimed to be. I enjoy reading my bible everyday and spending time with the Lord not for a title of “scholar” but the title of “child” who is still learning everyday to know God’s will for my life which is a continual process that I have not yet arrived and still have many questions about what the Christian walk looks like.

  51. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    We have an expression here in Britain…

    If the cap fits ware it!


  52. poohpity says:

    Bob, I do not understand what you are trying to tell me.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, if someone writes somthing here, only if it fits you, you can take it to heart, otherwise, leave it.

    Pooh, I thought you were terrific on januari 24 10.14 pm. saying sorry.
    We learn here, by falling and standing up.
    Proverbs 24:16
    for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.

  54. davids says:


    Maybe you don’t know that in US English, the expression is “If the shoe fits, wear it”, but it is almost always used in a negative way, like:
    “Are you saying that I am impatient?”
    “Well, if the shoe fits, wear it!”


  55. foreverblessed says:

    dussmiller, thanks for responding, and encouraging Pooh. I have done this too, years ago, and the person was not amused. After 24 years they were divorced. SOmetimes God tells you to warn another fellow christian. It is hard to generally give advice on this. God’s voice can be heard in what to say or not to say. What if the church doesn’t know what the person is doing, you have to notify the church first? That’s kind of hard too.
    If you see your brother sinning… which bible verse is that… so that is not a sin against you, but in general.
    I had to warn somebody too. I was writing a nice letter, and then read the bible, Proverbs 24:11, I read it, and it was like a sword. Suddenly I knew I had to warn this person, even though it was not a sin against me.
    The person was doing the raw food diet. So the letter had to be a warning, and a plea to return to the sound faith in Jesus.
    She did not listen, and has shunned me ever since. But I had to warn, I had to obey God’s call. What the other person does is not my business.

    djkeyboard, thanks for your story, and stay strong in the faith in Jesus.
    I pray that you will hear God’s still voice in what to do and what not to do.

    We can read all the examples in the bible, but which one is the example for our particular case?
    We need the Holy Spirit to give light on the matter.
    And the Holy Spirit gives insight into our “enemy” behaviour, why he/she does certain things.
    But others have mentioned that already here on this topic.

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Davids, Bob is already asleep. We are late, we have to go to bed! 00.30 am
    Good evening all!

  57. wpleasant says:

    “poohpity” – I look forward to spending an eternity with you in heaven. You have a sincere heart and like all of us who read the bible in the Spirit, we’ve come to understand it is by grace any of us are even able to share on this blog. God does not show favoritism to His children. (Galatians 3:28) It’s been a while since I’ve read, and even longer, posted on this blog, and some of the recent exchanges do seem a little more… let’s say a tad judgemental, than in the past. It nevertheless is a good thing for people to listen and hear what others have to say. Nonetheless, I know Martin’s intent is to encourage edifying communication, but opinions can be intense and emotional reactions to words, typed or spoken, can somtimes be provocative because what we are speaking about sometimes relates to eternity and restoration of the lives of broken and hurt people in this life.

    To “djkeyboard” I can relate to the sense of betrayal. I too have been hurt several times by people who professed to love Christ. I’ve hurt others too, but where I think the line is crossed is when leaders in a local assembly deliberately do things that harm others as they appear to have done with you. The one thing I learned is that when you are led by the Lord to leave a local assembly (If you are truly born again you never really leave the Church. I learned that truth when other christians I had come to know over the years ministered to me after I left an assembly and God showed me that His kingdom is not bound by the walls of any specific congregation.) I am a member of another local church now and have been for three years. I too had been in a very large church and now I am a member of very small, but loving church. The bible tells us that there will be tares (weeds) and chaff no matter where we go. God didn’t lie to us when He said that some who claim to know Him and are planted among us are in fact not a part of His kingdom. We don’t always have the discernment to know who those tares are, but suffice it to know they do exist. We also have to realize that some christians are, or can become, carnal in their living and it sounds as if that may have happened to the pastor who mishandled funds in your case. I choose not to question his salvation at this point because the temptation of gaining wealth at any cost is great, particularly in this country, and we all have potential, as with any other sin, to secumb.

  58. bubbles says:

    The last comment that I made was an observation over the course of the past 2 months. Not just this topic of conversation.

    Maybe what I said is a carry over from stress coming from elsewhere. Maybe I did not use self control in what I said.

    If what I said has caused discord, it was not done intentionally, and I am very sorry.

  59. plumbape says:

    I wonder if Dr Luke ever complained about the sick people he had to visit…? Think they were always nice and full of joy or feeling poorly and sounding even worse? I’m sorry but I can not help think about the fact that life was “alot” different in the first century than in the twenty first. By that I mean that some things today are handled differently and for good reasons. If we expel the immoral brother today he may just stop off at the one with that amusing quote on the sign in front and tell the good folks what a bunch of sad people at the last church was.

    Today we have sins and crimes and while you are thinking they are one and the same I beg to differ but that is another subject. In the old days if a Jew just said something against God he was executed. If a couple of brothers were brought before the court today and not found guilty but just in keeping with the diginity of the court members, they have them flogged before releasing them…. I don’t think they would be singing and joyful that they were considered worthy of a beating. But on the other hand, if someone says things that are sarcastic or not nice well I don’t think we should be subjected to that sort of treatment.

    Maybe I’m off base here but loving our neighbor can seem like a task sometimes, loving our enemies sure seems to me as absolutely impossible by people that are offended and upset over some comments that are by people that at the very least love the Lord enough to risk being honest and transparent here in an attempt to learn and help one another. Is there not a scripture about making allowances for one anothers short comings?

    You know, Joe Stowell leans towards sarcasism to get folks attention and some humor but no less a honorable paster and speaker for Christ.

    Be nice or I will start yanking people off my Christmas shopping list with only a little over eleven months to bribe your way back in good standing….

  60. poohpity says:

    Thank you wpleasant for the feedback and I will watch out that I do not sit in judgment or criticize others. I understand that when I point a finger at someone else I have three pointing back at me. Thank you again.

  61. worstofall says:

    Dear all,
    I have not been on this blog for the last one year. Just thought to check in as I myself was struggling with real bitter thoughts within myself due to unforgiveness. And what do I see! Exactly what I have been going through. I must say that I have been struggling with these thoughts for past few years and they have sapped my vitality. I am thankful for all your comments.
    I have come to understand (from my personal experience)is that I can’t hold on to bitterness in any case. And that can only be done by the grace of God. What I found was when the grace is experienced, God gives the love for the other person which takes away the bitterness so completely that you wonder how the bitterness could ever be there. I think that gives the capacity to relate to that person as Jesus would have wanted me to. I think the standard remains to ‘love your enemy’ which is rather like a continuum on which one continually progresses. Nevertheless the temptation to revert to the bitter thoughts always remains and I have the choice to decide to entertain the old train of thought or rest in God. Unfortunately 90% of the time I have not been able to do that, which brought me back to this blog and I can already sense the working of God.
    Thanks to all you saints of Jesus. I know you are all sincere and loving children of God and that is why I have been blessed yet again.

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Worstofall, thank you so much!! Be blessed!

    In remembering to love one another, I though the topic of Mart, walking the walk:
    For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7
    SOmeone mentioned that it is not at once we develop love, there are some steps that preceed it: like self-control.
    Isn’t that good?
    Many times I have to stop, before reacting to a seemingly bad comment made to me by someone else. First have faith, in Jesus, look to Him first, then ask for knowledge, about the other person, to understand why he said it, then self-control, do not react yet, stop yourself, then onto perseverance, (that’s a good one too) hang on in self-control.
    See, many steps, and we are not yet even at love…
    Blogging here is a very good playground for us all,
    and give each other the space to err once in a while.
    We may fall 7 times but will rise up.
    God bless you

  63. kaliko88 says:

    I don’t think pooh was being judgmental, just concerned. I think she chose the right approach by talking with that person privately. I know how I would feel if someone decided to deal with me by going behind my back and having someone else, or multiple someone elses, from the church confront me. And I think it would have been worse than being judgmental to do nothing. There was a time once when I was hurt and said nothing, and I’ve been haunted ever since by the ones who were also hurt.

    I have to say I think it was wrong to automatically assume pooh was being judgmental. She is there, we are not. And why is it ‘judgemental’ to warn someone about a serious misstep?

    Now it’s my turn to get back on topic, or sort of on topic. What about when you’re the one seeking forgiveness, but you can’t quite accept it, can’t let go of the guilt? Am I right in thinking that would interfere with your relationships, especially the relationship with God? I just struggle so much. I know I’m forgiven, but I can’t quite get away from the shame, the sense of being unworthy and a hindrance. Or am I just using it as an excuse?

  64. foreverblessed says:

    Kaliko, what a good question! Does here not come in the aspect of grace. If you keep looking to Jesus, and asking for relief, He will at one point give you that wonderful sense of being totally forgiven! Of being free of guilt.
    I will pray for you too. I think that is how we can pray for one another.

    TO be back on topic, Mart asks is our personal understanding of forgiveness enough for all the tasks he asks?
    When I read that, I thought: No, it isn’t at all.
    I need the help of the Holy Spirit to guide me, and to fill me.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Blumbape, is this verse appropriate?
    21 Do not pay attention to every word people say,
    or you may hear your servant cursing you—
    22 for you know in your heart
    that many times you yourself have cursed others. Ecclesiastes 7

    Or this one:
    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2

  66. Mikek says:

    What if the lingering pain will not let you “let it go” no matter what you try, no matter how you pray, no matter what? Then what?

    Without all the boring details at your expense, sometimes you have forgiven those who have injured you but the pain remains.

    It has “messed with me” for years now; affected my wife, children and virtually every aspect of my life.

    The pain has led to anger.

  67. poohpity says:

    kaliko88, I have to say that that is my biggest struggle as well the feelings of guilt. I know when I harm someone or sin against them I will go and ask for forgiveness and being in a place of vulnerability during that process some usually retort with all the wrong I have ever done in my life and usually not offer forgiveness back. Then I go home into my private place and just beat myself up for all the wrong I have done back many years and then I start being a historian and dig it all up and before you know it I can not hardly hold up my head any longer. It would be nice if we offered the same amount of forgiveness that the Lord gives us to ourselves. I fall so short in that area myself.

  68. poohpity says:

    Mikek, It is a slow process sometimes but I believe that there is hope. Those times are when we find the grace we have be shown as a healing balm to remember.

  69. poohpity says:

    I really like the Eph 4:2 and I think that is the one that plumbape was referring to.

  70. wpleasant says:

    poohpity- blogs and emails can be what I like to call “the tyranny of words” in some cases. So easy to misstate, misinterpret, and misunderstand. I did not mean to imply you were being judgemental in my earlier post, certainly not with regards to your sharing about a person who you felt concerned about committing and practicing sin with living with someone outdside of marriage, while at the same time that person being actively involved in the church. Other posts apparently read my post the same way you did. I meant to convey the exact opposite. Frankly, whether your attempt to show concern to that woman in your church was the best way, it was by most accounts I believe very courageous. It is rare that a person like the woman you mentioned will openly let it be known they will do something, that most would agree, contradicts the word of God. I have seen it, but it is very rare. Anyway, please forgive any misunderstanding I may have created in your mind. I think I am on the right track in saying that in most situations where we feel led to confront someone with “an offense” or flagrant and conscious disregard of God’s word, we always keep in our minds that we, under the right (or wrong) circumstances, recognize we have the potential in ourselves to do or say the exact same thing as the person we are trying to correct. I think that may or may not be successful in letting that person feel that we are not trying to be judgemental, but are just concerned. That way even if they don’t agree and continue or are unrepentant they will at least know you approached them in humility and love. In other words, confronting is not necessarily judging. To let someone drive the wrong way on a one-way street without saying something has no virtue in my mind. We could all use more courage in that area. We are speaking of heart and spiritual issues here. True conviction and repentance will come through the Holy Spirit, just as it did when we received Christ. that is why prayer is so essential in these matters. We also need to remember that we are not just placed together in a church to confront. We all need to ask ourselves if an offending person was ever in need of something where we could have helped and didn’t. I’m not saying that helping someone prior is a prerequisite to confronting, but I sure think it would help if there was a past of showing love in other ways before confronting. It may be the right thing to confront someone, but it is the Holy Spirit’s job to effect real heart changes. If we do our best and approach the person biblically, we do not have to beat ourselves up or blame ourselves if the person refuses to change. I promise this is my last post on the subject. I share a lot of what I’m saying through learning through mistakes I’ve made in the past in confronting.

  71. poohpity says:

    Thank you again wpleasant. I was before Christ in the same situation as my friend and she knows of my background. She has since told me she knew it was done because I care for her and has invited me to one of her parties for candles. It is sometimes that we may be in one of the hundreds of many other sins. I respected her so much because she did not retort with picking out my trespasses. She just told me she felt angry which was a rather adult way to respond and I told her I respected her for handling it that way instead of like a child throwing back insults.

  72. Charis says:


    Haven’t had any time to comment but have given your situation some thought. A couple passages where people are confronted about wrongdoing by an individual besides Jesus (who did so rather regularly) :

    Matt 14:1 ff
    The confronted fella in this case did not take kindly to it (to put it mildly!).

    Acts 8:9-24 The confronted fella in this case received the correction

    Acts 5 This married couple was not confronted together but one by one. Not a happy ending.

    The confrontEE is never criticized in any of the above cases, (though in the first case, he certainly pays dearly for confronting sin).

    As to your beating yourself up over ancient history (7:35pm). Does not forgiving myself say that Christ’s blood is not “good enough” to cover me? That wouldn’t be “good news”.

  73. poohpity says:

    Charis, when I am in a normal state of mind I usually do know that but lately with all of the deaths in my family and problems with my oldest son I have fallen prey to others opinion of me and I ask myself what could I have done differently and I am accepting their unforgiving attitude. It is like when someone is really feeling down and having a hard time picking their head up people come along and push your head down further, that is where I am right now. I know Christ has forgiven me but this grieving process has sapped the life out of me and am not finding the encouragement to hold my head up. I know it will come but I am just a bit out of sorts lately. Staying in the Word and praying is the only thing that is keeping me a float hopefully soon I will be back in the race again but for now I am just making it through moment by moment, one day at a time.

    I am a single mom and I am usually the one who takes care of everyone around me plus I am disabled with 8 hip surgeries under my belt so I am just holding tight actually grasping the Lord right now and trusting Him to care for me. Guilt has eased it’s way in there to make me feel worse than I already am and I do know it is a lie but we still have to accept responsibly for our behavior.

  74. worstofall says:

    Dear Deb,
    I commend you for your faith, resilience and trust in the Lord in spite of the situation you are in. The Lord indeed has a special reward for you.
    My mentor had once confronted me on a relationship I had and I had felt real bad. Stopped talking for one month, though I knew he was right and God was right. I gave in and God blessed the relationship with him. God also blessed me with a wonderful wife. I am so thankful for what he did and I respect him a great deal for taking a step which was not pleasant for either of us but eventually God was glorified. One of my brothers who was also mentored by the same person was into something wrong, but when confronted never has since talked back to him.(My mentor has been so hurt and down, that he till now has not recovered – do pray for him – price he paid to do the right but unpopular thing) I don’t mean to gain points for myself. What I am saying is that what you did, in the Spirit of Christ is commendable.(The very fact that you face the struggle within shows that you did it in that spirit. If you just meant to put her down or with a self righteous attitude, you would not have bothered).
    Though I have rarely commented on this blog I have followed it long enough(in breaks) and I appreciate you and I love you as a sister in Christ. God bless you and use you, for though you are weak, He IS strong.

  75. Charis says:


    You are doing the right thing by pressing into the Lord!

    Look up fathersloveletter and print out an 8X11 pdf poster for yourself and meditate upon what God thinks of you instead of all the lies that the enemy would use to sap your faith, strength, joy, peace. (The letter ministered a great deal to me in a painful season)

  76. poohpity says:

    Deep, thank you for the encouragement.

    Charis, thank you too, I will look that up but I read the Father’s love letter to me every morning.

  77. Regina says:

    Good Morning All

    Hope all is well with you and your families. Up early this morning because I like to have a lot of time to get ready for work (I think I need the time too). Have to be there at 7:15 am
    I’ve enjoyed reading all of your comments; they’ve been insightful and helpful for me.
    I agree with kaliko88 and others who did not think Pooh (Deb) was being judgmental. Her account of what happened with the sister at her church made me feel like she was just concerned for her well-being. Like someone on this blog said, none of us are perfect (hindsight is 20/20).
    I’m sure that we can all think of something that we’ve done that we sincerely thought was the right course of action, but after sharing it with others (putting it out there in the court of public opinion—from saint or sinner), we felt like maybe we could have done things differently.
    Would say more (I think?), but I have to go eat breakfast and get ready to seize the day!

    High 60’s/low 70’s and sunny in Texas today! Bruce C., Gonna share your parting words..

    Soli Deo Gloria! :)

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