Forgiveness 3: Forgiveness is Not –


 Society, those who are paid to help us, friends, churches, and authors have all tried to define exactly what forgiveness is, and what it is not. In many cases, their definitions contradict each other. However, here are some truths that almost everyone has in common.


Forgiveness Does Not Demand Reconciliation


There is no place in the bible that states that we must rebuild a relationship with a non-Christian or a violent person. Remember, you will know a Christian by their love. If there is no love, there is no true ‘heart of Christ’ within that person.

Reconciliation is intended for Christians within the Christian community. Everyone within a Christian community is not a Christian.  Only you in your heart can know if God is calling you to reconciliation.

No one has a perfect relationship with other people. Not even BFF (Best Friends Forever) remain best friends forever. Churches split all the time, couples’ get divorced,  families move away from each other. No one panics when people normally fall apart. No one forces them to ask forgiveness ‘face to face’ and work towards reconciliation. Not every fracture between two people needs to be reconciled.

Not even Jesus tried to have a good relationship with everyone. He didn’t teach his disciples to work toward a good relationship with everyone. In fact, he told them that if they came to a town that didn’t want to hear the Good News, they were to leave and shake the dust off their feet.  Over and over, Jesus refused to negotiate, ask forgiveness, or seek reconciliation with people who were not Christian.


Forgiveness Does Not Demand Trust


If a dog bit you – would you put your hand near that dog again? Of course not. Forgiveness does not demand trust.   Trust is earned. Trust is a state where you ‘know’ that someone is not going to hurt you. You can forgive someone and never be sure whether they will hurt you again.  To pretend that you trust them, and make yourself vulnerable is just foolish.


The Dictionary’s Definition


The dictionary defines forgiveness as a process of concluding resentment, anger, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution, writing off a debt, granting pardon for an offence, ceasing to feel anger toward someone who has hurt you.

Other non-Christian resources state that forgiveness is defined as the process of ending resentment, indignation, or anger.  A cancer website states that forgiveness is for you, not anyone else. No one else needs to know about it.

Even the Mayo Clinic applauds forgiveness’ ability to ‘lead one down the path of healing and peace.’


Forgiveness is Not an Act of Obedience

Forgiveness is an act of love between you and God

Forgiveness is hope that you will see the world clearly without a tainted view through pain and hate.

Forgiveness is the sacrifice of that hurtful deed. You are throwing it away so that it has no more power over you.

Forgiveness is a choice to let go

Forgiveness starts you on a path to a place where you can one day look at your abuser and say ‘You Have No Power Over Me’

Forgiveness does not need to happen today, this month, this year.

Romans 12:18  “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone”

No Comments Yet - be the First!

Login Please

To start connecting please log in first.