Forgiveness – an introduction

I remember studying biblical theology in my younger years.  At that time the machinations of scholars were often portrayed as unfinished (of course they were – they were just dipping their feet in the water of discourse with other academics so you didn’t want to proclaim the “truth” without first checking it out with your peers). 

The title for books included the following – “an introduction”.  So, here is an introduction on forgiveness.

The Christian viewpoint is strong on forgiveness.  In fact, so strong, that if you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven.

Below I have outlined in my own language some definitions of forgiveness that I have run across.  I’m not sure I agree with them all.  After all, this is just “an introduction”!

Some initial thoughts on defining forgiveness:

Give totally – as though your loss was actually not a loss – you gave it to the other freely.

Give as though nothing has happened – consider things to be as they were before, as though the most recent incident had not happened.

Don’t take offense – refuse to take account.  Actually pre-omit the sin perpetrated against you before it happens.

Don’t receive what is given – instead of wearing a velcro suit attracting offenses, you wear a teflon suit that sheds offenses.

Don’t judge in the first place – there are no offenses where there is no wrong.

Your thoughts?

One thought on “Forgiveness – an introduction

  1. I agree that taking offense is a choice that the ability to use takes some time to develop, being human and all, but sometimes it is best to admit an offense has been taken and needs to be talked about with the offender. I don’t think forgiveness is a denial of an offense, but more of a decision to ask God for discernment on how best to deal with the perceived offender after it happens….behaving as if nothing has happened can only occur with honesty, I suspect, once we have determined with the Lord if the offense is important enough to discuss it lovingly and honestly with the offender or if it is unimportant enough to continue on as if nothing has happened. I think each incident has to be taken on its own. Not sure there is really one statement or action that is appropriate to every situation. What a huge topic….so much to think about as to how to implement the Scriptural teachings properly. Thanks for bringing this up. I think the church too often, in my own experience at least, is not that practised at implementing the steps described in Matthew 18. I certainly feel personally inadequate sometimes as to how to properly rein in my emotions and deal with offenses in a godly manner. This is something I need to delve into more deeply at this time in life.

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