Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Forgiveness? Part 2

I have enjoyed the conversations with you on forgiveness. I hope that it is helping you to form a theology of forgiveness.

I want to put forth a few more questions about forgiveness.

Is there ever a reason to hold back forgiveness?
What about these examples.

1. Your heart is not right. Do you need to wait until your heart is right to grant someone forgiveness? Lets say you significant other comes to you and says that they have committed adultery, but they are sorry and want you to forgive them. Do you grant them forgiveness, or do you wait until you get your heart right?

2. If the person seems to be insincere about their request for forgiveness? They keep repeating the same offense over and over, or they don't seem contrite enough.

What do you think?
Remember to support your answer with Bible verses.

Also, list some examples of people exercising forgiveness in the Bible. What model of forgiveness do they follow?

1 comment:

RobenC said...

Sorry this is long - I kept thinking of more examples...

Genesis 42-45 - Joseph forgiving his brothers. But he tested them first. They finally did ask for his forgiveness in Chapter 50.
I think Joseph realized that everything had been God's plan all along. He wanted to make sure they would not do to Benjamin what they had done to him, thus the tests. He had quite a few years to work through any bitterness he held against them.

Hosea and Gomer
Hosea 3:1
The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." It doesn't say Hosea forgave her but that they were reconciled and Hosea was obedient. Obedient hearts seem to be important.

David forgave Saul I Samuel 22 - 26
Saul repented more than once and asked David to forgive him. David did - Saul went back to doing the same things. Again - David knew the sovereignty of God.

King Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33

The Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32

Paul being forgiven by Jewish Christians after his conversion. (Acts 9)

In Ephesians 4:31/32 Paul tells us to 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Galatians 2:20 - "Christ lives in me..."
If we want to be Christlike, then we will show mercy Titus 3:5

I'm not sure we are called to determine if a person's heart is contrite enough. I don't know how we could. But we are called to forgive if someone asks us to forgive. As for repeating the offense, you could use Israel repeatedly sinning against God as an example. Or Gomer and Hosea. Or Saul and David. Or Jonah - he was convinced that Ninevah wasn't worthy of forgiveness. God proved him wrong.

I don't think we can forgive without Christ. If we try to do it on our own, then our hearts won't ever be ready to forgive.