Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Forgiveness verses Reconciliation (helpful)

Pastor Mark said (not a direct quote) :The forgiveness of a sinner is not contingent on their repentance, it is contingent upon Christ's Character. As Christians God has mercy not malice towards us. While still enemies Christ came as man for us.

CONCERNING HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS: We need to forgive everyone and entrust them to God's judgment. There can be forgiveness (humanly), without reconciliation. Reconciliation takes the action of both people, while forgiveness can be shown by just one. The one who forgives should not , continue enabling an unrepentant one to be abusive and should not be an enabler of their sin. They can forgive even when the other is unrepentant by entrusting that person to God's judgement. For there to be reconciliation the offending one needs to repent which will demonstrate itself in change. This changed life will also demonstrate that they are safe and trustworthy. Therefore reconciliation takes both people, while forgiveness can be shown by just one.

We are hypocrites if we receive his mercy and don't forgive. Sin is so bad God had to die for it--so forgiving does not mean approving. We have to keep on forgiving--it takes time to rebuild trust.

I like what this guy ( Richard (Dick) Innes ) says at (
http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=136&d=2&c=3 ): His quote is in blue---

"Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."1

"Following a series of Daily Encounters on "Forgiveness," a number of readers wanted to know if forgiving another person meant that we have to forget what has happened; or to love and stay with them if they are abusive; or to trust them?

"The answer is no, no, no! Let me explain further.

"When we have sinned, we need to be reconciled to God, but while reconciliation with others is the ideal, it isn't always possible—and sometimes not to be desired. Some teachers argue that forgiveness isn't possible unless the offending person admits what she/he has done and asks for forgiveness of the one they have hurt. If this were true, many of us would be stuck for life for the fact that many people do not, or will not, admit that they have done anything wrong, let alone apologize for it.

Forgiveness is dependent only on the person who has been hurt. Reconciliation is dependent on both the offended and the one who has offended.

One reader, whose husband was an alcoholic and physically abusive and dangerous when drunk, wanted to know if forgiving him meant loving and trusting him. Whew ... she was in quite a predicament. However, the most loving thing she could do, was to confront him and let him know that she was not going to tolerate his behavior any longer.

Furthermore, unless he got into recovery, and overcame his alcoholism and abusive behavior, she needs to separate herself and the children from him, and not return until his counselor could assure her that she and the children would be safe to live with him again. If she keeps tolerating his abusive and destructive behavior, she becomes part of his sickness.

In cases like this, the first thing victims need to do is to get professional counsel and help because some of these abusive husbands can become very dangerous.

And unless destructive and/or toxic, abusive people repent and change their ways, it is wise to avoid associating with them wherever possible. As the Bible indicates, it just isn't possible to live peaceably with all people.

Suggested prayer, "Dear God, in all my relationships, please help me to forgive all who have hurt me, to seek forgiveness where I have hurt others, and give me the wisdom to know when reconciliation is or isn't advisable or possible, and give me the courage to do what I need to do no matter how painful or frightening it may be. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."1.
Romans 12:17-18 (NASB).2. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV). " END of QUOTE

So we may forgive someone , but not trust someone. Trust takes time and has to be earned. This is true even with how God treats us. As this person states: (http://www.geocities.com/dcheddie/forgiveness1.html )

"When God saves us, he forgives us and wipes our slate clean...as if we never sinned. However he does not "promote" us just quite yet. It takes time for him to build character in us. He starts off by giving us a small number of talents. Depending on how faithful we are, he gives us more (Matt 25:14-30). And so on. Little by little he builds character in us, until we get to the point where God could trust us with big things. The forgiveness was automatic. The trust had to be earned. Similarly, we must be quick to forgive and seek reconciliation, slow to give up on people. However trusting them takes time. Trust is not automatic. "

"I wouldn't want a serial rapist working around my house with my wife and kids anywhere nearby. I don't care how radically saved he is. He has to earn that trust. If someone's spouse cheats on them, it is their job, however hard it is, to forgive the person. However, if they feel they can no longer trust the unfaithful spouse, they are no longer bound to salvage the marriage. Marital unfaithfulness is an adequate grounds for divorce as far as God is concerned. If they feel, however, that they could work with the unfaithful spouse and build back the trust, that is also in order. But it is the forgiveness we are commanded to offer, not trust."


mahima said...

As I see some extreme cases this works but what about some minor offenses which are disregarded as offence at all Could those relationships be pursued???

and what about the verse that says Matthew 5 :23-24 " 23Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift."

nannykim said...

Matthew 5 is about a time when you have offended someone. One commentator says this:

The meaning evidently is - not, "dismiss from thine own breast all ill feeling," but "get thy brother to dismiss from his mind all grudge against thee."
and then come and offer thy gift - "The picture," says THOLUCK, "is drawn from life. It transports us to the moment when the Israelite, having brought his sacrifice to the court of the Israelites, awaited the instant when the priest would approach to receive it at his hands. He waits with his gift at the rails which separate the place where he stands from the court of the priests, into which his offering will presently be taken, there to be slain by the priest, and by him presented upon the altar of sacrifice." It is at this solemn moment, when about to cast himself upon divine mercy, and seek in his offering a seal of divine forgiveness, that the offerer is supposed, all at once, to remember that some brother has a just cause of complaint against him through breach of this commandment in one or other of the ways just indicated. What then? Is he to say, As soon as I have offered this gift I will go straight to my brother, and make it up with him? Nay; but before another step is taken - even before the offering is presented - this reconciliation is to be sought, though the gift have to be left unoffered " So we are to seek reconcilation when we are the offenders here. We are to do our part at reconciling someone we have offended.