I am going to change my format a bit. What I mean by this is that I am going to talk a bit more about the topics in hope that I can get some feed back. So far I have had people like my stuff and read it. I was hoping for more feed back since my end goal is to publish this work so that others can learn and know about Christ while at the same time not using jargon or Christianeze. Forgiveness. I think the statement says a lot “Where would we be without it.”
Secular and Religious folk agree that with out forgiveness we have a very mentally (and physically) unhealthy people. Our mental health has a very strong effect on our physical health. As a Christian I take it even further. I believe without forgiveness we will have a society that is trapped in anger, bitterness, revenge and justice without mercy. How can we have a proper society with out mercy and with out forgiveness.
As a Christian we have firm beliefs that everyone (literally everyone) needs to be forgiven. Our God Himself teaches us in our Scripture Mathew 6:12 that we are to ask for our forgiveness from God and in turn God expects us to, in the same way as we expect from him, forgive others. Mathew 6:14 says the same thing if you forgive others their sins then our Father in heaven will forgive give us our sins. This very concept is played out in Scripture over and over again it is a basic tenant of our faith that we need forgiveness and we need to forgive.
Romans 3:23 states that everyone has sinned so everyone needs forgiveness. As a Christian I firmly believe there is not one person who does not need to be forgiven. I believe that all humans understand that.
The question to ask is what is forgiveness? How does it look? How does it feel? Why should I forgive someone else? (they do not deserve it). These are all great questions and all valid.
The dictionary standard definition is simple “to pardon an offense or offender, to cancel a debt” while these are good and proper on the day to day level they are hard to do. The Christian concept of forgiveness takes it to a whole different level. As a Christian I will define it differently or maybe it is better to say I define it at a higher level.
When God forgives He also forgets, He also removes that sin from us and gives us real freedom from it. I think we can all understand how things we do wrong can stay with us even if we quit doing it. For some reason that thing we did wrong seems to have power over us. Forgiveness takes that power away. James 5:16 states that we need to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed. To obtain forgiveness we need to confess our sins and that action of verbally confessing our sins can take away the power it has over our lives and we can be free. The reason he says confess to one another is because as Christians we can understand and sympathize with the other so that as God has forgiven us we can share that same life experience with others and they can find the healing of forgiveness from God.
From the Christian perspective when God forgives us that sin (wrong doing) is no longer there it will no longer be held against us. Of course as Paul states in Romans 6:1 we can not continue in that sin which grace has brought forgiveness for.
I see I just introduced a new thought one of grace and how it works in tandem with forgiveness. This can be a long topic and I think I will have a different post regarding how each one of these themes work together in synergy to bring about a whole Christian and a mature Christian.
I believe most people get the basic concept of forgiveness it is easy to understand and since there is no one who has not done something wrong we all understand that we all need it. The problem comes with the implementation and how that works out in day to day life. This is where it gets personal.
I will say a quick prayer before going further since this is a very difficult subject to breech and to tackle. ……. Okay done.
The next question to tackle here is “Why should I forgive someone else?” This is valid. There are people that most would say do not deserve forgiveness. They have done some very horrible things such as molesting children, raping people, murder and so on. There are things so horrible that we can not think of forgiveness. Why should we? Wow the answer is not easy and many will disagree with me.
Here I go. I think everyone should have the opportunity for forgiveness. I remember when James Dobson interviewed Ted Bundy. People were saying that there is no forgiveness for Ted Bundy. He does not deserve it. I would agree that he does not deserve it. I would also agree that I do not deserve it. Folks this is hard to accept but I have to believe it to be true that when God says the only unforgivable sin is that of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit that is the only unforgivable sin. I am not saying that Ted Bundy and for that matter anyone should not be held responsible for what they have done that is wrong. As far as humans go it was correct to sentence him to death. He earned that from his actions. In the whole of eternity God has His own plan and if Ted Bundy was honest (I am not so sure he is able to be honest) and actually accepted Christ then he will be in heaven (or as some think maybe a type of purgatory).
Christ Himself states in the Lords prayer for me to receive the forgiveness of God that I need to also forgive. If I hold it back then so will He. Matthew 18:21-35 a great parable about forgiveness. I would not want to be the servant who did not show mercy and forgiveness.
Okay all this is getting to long for one post this may not be the best place to stop but I will continue the second piece later this week.