True Forgiveness

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Paidion
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True Forgiveness

Post by Paidion » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:10 pm

Luke 17:3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.

Jesus gave repentance (a change of heart and mind) as a condition for forgiveness of wrongdoing.

Three Factors of true forgiveness of someone who has sinned against you.
1. If you have any ill feelings toward the offender, you let go of those feelings.
2. You don't demand any restitution from the offender.
3. Your relationship with the offender is restored.

But all three cannot happen unless the offender repents—changes his mind about his ongoing sin and departs from its practice.

Many people think you can forgive a person who has sinned against you without their repentance.
You can let go of ill feelings and not demand restitution (#1 and #2) but that is pardoning the offender, not forgiving him. Your relationship with him will never be the same unless he repents. But many think you can forgive someone without restoring your relationship with him. I have heard people say, “Yes, I forgave him. But I'm not going to go out for lunch with him.” Is that really forgiveness? What if God said to us, “I forgave you. But don't bother praying to me; I won't listen.” No. If God has truly forgiven us our sin against him, then our relationship with Him has been restored. But that is contingent upon our repentance. Without repentance there is no forgiveness. Pardon is possible, yes, but not forgiveness.

In the March, 1998 issue of the Reader's Digest, Dennis Prager wrote an article entitled “The sin of forgiveness.”

Dennis wrote:
The bodies of the three teenage girls murdered by a fellow student at Heath High School in West Paducah, Kentucky were not yet cold, let alone buried, before the students of the prayer group that was shot at announced, "We forgive you, Mike," referring to Michael Carneal, 14, the murderer.

Apparently a huge sign was erected by the young people of the city with the words, “We forgive you, Mike.” What message did this send to the unrepentant Mike? Did it send the message that what he did was acceptable, and that he could repeat the offense if he wanted to with impunity?

If a person has committed a blunder, or unintentional trespass, he nothing to repent of. So you might tell him that you won't hold what he did against him. But there is nothing to forgive. No relationship with the person was broken, there is no relationship to restore. There is nothing even to pardon.

One other matter. The Greek word that is translated as “forgiveness” does not always mean “forgiveness”. The verbal form was used for Jesus LEAVING the crowds and going up into the mountain to pray. Also, some of our translations read that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins. But Jesus forgave people's sins many times while he walked this earth BEFORE he died! I suggest that the clause should be translated that Jesus died for the forsaking of sins or the leaving behind of sins.

In conclusion, the bottom line is that if someone has committed a morally wrong act, he must repent, change his mind about his act in order to be truly forgiven.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

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darinhouston
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by darinhouston » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:26 pm

I highly recommend this lecture

https://thenarrowpath.com/audio/topical ... veness.mp3


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Paidion
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Paidion » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:32 pm

Darin, I Iistened to part of the lecture. But I think many have gone astray by presuming that the word "εκδικησις" means "vengeance."
It is my belief that it means "justice." The widow in Jesus' parable did not want the judge to wreak vengeance on her adversary. She just wanted justice rather than he adversary to get away with taking advantage of her position as a widow. And in verses 7 and 8, God is not going to bring about vengeance upon his chosen ones!

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice (εκδικησις) against my adversary.’
4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,
5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice (εκδικησις), so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’"
6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7 And will not God bring about justice (εκδικησις) for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice (εκδικησις), and quickly... (Luke 18:1-8 NIV)
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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Homer
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Homer » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:01 am

Hi Paidion,

Could you elaborate on what you mean by this statement:
3. Your relationship with the offender is restored.
If your relationship included being in authority over the person (say employer or supervisor) and he embezzled or
abused/molested another person, would "restoring the relationship" entail placing him back in the position that provided the opportunity to sin?

Thanks, Homer

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Paidion
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Paidion » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:25 pm

Let's take your example of someone who embezzled money from his employer.
Suppose that later he truly repents (has a change of heart and mind), goes to his employer and confesses his theft, and shows the reality of his repentance by repaying his employer all of it, or as much of it as is now possible for him to repay. Then suppose the employer is convinced that his repentance is genuine. His employer truly forgives him and their relationship is restored. His employer had fired him, but now rehires him and as you say, "places him back in the position that provided the opportunity to sin." The employer does this because he has been convinced that the man's repentance is genuine, that the man truly had a change of heart and mind about theft, and so he now trusts him.

If the employer had had any doubts that that man had really repented, perhaps thought he was just putting on an act in order to get his job back, he would not have truly forgiven him. Oh, he may have pardoned him, that is, let go of ill feelings toward him and not demand restitution. But if he had truly forgiven him, their relationship would have been restored, so that the employer could trust him again.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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Homer
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Homer » Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:55 pm

Hi Paidion,

In the example you gave I could agree with you. By repaying the employer, repentance was demonstrated to likely be genuine. However, I would insist that forgiving a person and restoring trust are not the same thing.

Consider another example: a person operates a day care for children and an employee is found to have molested children. The employee confesses to the employer his sin and asks forgiveness. Should forgiveness necessitate restoration of the employee's position, taking care of children? I think not.

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Paidion
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Paidion » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:03 pm

Homer, you wrote:Consider another example: a person operates a day care for children and an employee is found to have molested children. The employee confesses to the employer his sin and asks forgiveness. Should forgiveness necessitate restoration of the employee's position, taking care of children? I think not.
No. Forgiveness shouldn't necessitate the restoration of the employee's position. But Forgiveness should necessitate restoration of relationship. And if so, then the employer will have been convinced that the employee has genuinely repented, that is, had a complete change of mind and heart concerning his wrongdoing, and this may induce him to restore the employee's position.

However, if the employee will not restore his position because he cannot trust him not to repeat the offence, that would indicate that he does not really believe that the employee has repented ( had a genuine change of heart and mind). For if he did, he would not repeat the offence. If the employer truly forgave him, he would have been convinced that he had genuinely repented.
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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Homer
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Homer » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:15 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote,
However, if the employee will not restore his position because he cannot trust him not to repeat the offence, that would indicate that he does not really believe that the employee has repented ( had a genuine change of heart and mind). For if he did, he would not repeat the offence. If the employer truly forgave him, he would have been convinced that he had genuinely repented.
I'm having difficulty with your response, particularly the boldened sentence. In the case where a person has molested children, true repentance may have taken place in the mind and heart of the offender yet this may be an area of weakness the person continues to struggle with to one degree or another. I would say that the law of love would require us to not place the person in a position of temptation. And being a hierachicalist I would say our love for the children trumps our love for the one who has offended.

In this case (as in all) we are not God and we can not know with certainty that the person will not fail in the future in the face of temptation. We are still obliged to forgive and love the person but restoration to the status quo ante has to depend on the risk involved in placing the person back in his old position. In some cases the risk taken may be trivial, but in this case it is not.

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Paidion
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Paidion » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:00 pm

If the employee has truly repented (had a change of heart and mind), then he will NOT repeat the offence. If he might do so out of weakness, then he hasn't really repented, but has had but a passing feeling that he will not do so again.

So I repeat my assertion that if the employer REALLY believes that the employee has repented, he will trust him again. If he cannot so trust him, then he has not forgiven him. He may have pardoned him (let of of ill feelings and not requiring the employee to make restitution of any kind) but he has not forgiven him for "forgiveness" includes acceptance of true repentance. "Repentance" is not merely feeling sorry about one's actions but having a complete change of mind about them, thus resulting in not repeating them.

The words of Jesus:

If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him."
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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Homer
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Re: True Forgiveness

Post by Homer » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:36 pm

Hi Paidion,

I have a couple questions for you.

In consideration of this:
Forgiveness vs. Restoration of Trust
By Rick Warren

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19 NIV).
Who has a better arsenal to repay, you or God? Who can settle the score better, you or God? I think God! If I have to choose whether I’m going to get back at someone or let God be the God of justice, I’m going to let God be the God of justice. I’m going to choose to leave it to God.
Let me explain what forgiveness is not. Forgiveness does not mean the instant restoration of trust. Forgiveness is instant. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Forgiveness is based on grace. Trust is built on works. You earn trust. You don’t earn forgiveness.
A lot of people don’t want to forgive, because they think if they forgive people, then they’ve got to trust them again. No. That’s a whole different issue! Let me say it again: Forgiving someone does not mean you have to trust that person. It means that person has to earn the trust.
If people are in a relationship and one person is dealing with drugs or alcohol or abuse or whatever, they may ask, “Will you forgive me?” Yes, you will forgive them. “Can we go back to the way it was?” No. That’s not at all what we do.
Forgiveness and a restoration of a relationship are two different things. Forgiveness is only your part, whether they respond or not, whether they ask for it or not, whether they even recognize they need it or not. You forgive for your sake. Restoration of a relationship takes far more than forgiveness. It takes repentance. It takes restitution and a rebuilding of trust. And it often takes much more time.
Many people think they can’t forgive because that would mean going back to the same old way. Not at all. But you do have to leave it to God.
How do you release your hurt? You leave it to God.
This is basically my position. Can you show from the scriptures where Warren is in error?

We have a young single mother with two young children at the church we attend. The church has helped her get back on her feet after she divorced her husband. The reason for the divorce was because her husband sexually molested their children, for which he was sent to prison. She faithfully attends church and a recovery program sponsored by the church. She appears to be a devout Christian and has not remarried. If her ex-husband should express his repentance to her must she remarry him?

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