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What Does Forgiveness Mean To You?

Suz James August 5 at 12:55pm

What is your oppinion on this ‘you can’t go to heaven unless you forgive everyone who has ever hurt you?’

 

Brenda Branson August 5 at 1:09pm

That thinking is misguided because going to heaven has nothing to do with what you do or don’t do, but what Jesus has done for us. And forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. Forgiveness is a process that may take time and distance.

 

Suz James August 5 at 1:19pm

But no one really knows what forgiveness is – the more I read on the topic – the more confused I get

 

Brenda Branson August 5 at 1:46pm

Have you read books on forgiveness by Lewis Smedes? I think one is called “The Art of Forgiveness.” In my personal experience with forgiveness, it came when I released the person who hurt me into God’s hands and stopped trying to get an apology or anything from them. It was regaining control of my life instead of allowing thoughts of them to poison my heart and mind or take up precious time in my life that could be devoted to something worthwhile.

 

Suz James August 5 at 2:05pm

I have been told all sorts of things –you would trust that person again (NOT!), –you can talk to that person without feeling pain, — you don’t think about it anymore and if you do then you don’t feel anything more than you would when remembering your breakfast 3 weeks ago, you can be friends with the person, you are not angry anymore, it is no longer a bad memory, ….

 

Brenda Branson August 5 at 2:38pm

I don’t think any of those things are always the result of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it is for your healing. People who say forgiveness is easy may have never experienced deep trauma. It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t mean a relationship with the person who hurt you can ever be possible, but it does set you free to move on. It takes time and grace. For me, forgiveness was impossible, so my first step was being honest with God about my inability to forgive and asking Him to help me. In time, forgiveness come as I released the other person to God and allowed Him to transform my mind and heart with His grace. My relationship with the other person has not been reconciled and probably never will, but bitterness is no longer holding me hostage. I’ve released my control over the situation and given God control over them. I’m free.

 

Suz James August 6 at 10:12pm

Is it possible to teach a place in your life where you are too tired to care anymore. I don’t care about retribution or justice… I just want to be happy … I just want to focus on the future … but when I tell people they just say that I am on denial …

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Brenda Branson August 6 at 10:25pm

You aren’t in denial if you don’t minimize the wounds of the past or deny the impact those wounds have caused in your life. You aren’t in denial if you realize areas in your life that need healing and you seek help to work through them. There does come a point when a person gets tired of engaging with the craziness and realizes retribution is not worth it. That doesn’t mean that you let someone off the hook if he has broken the law and needs to face the consequences, but it means you cooperate with the authorities and leave the rest up to them. In order to move on and put the past behind, you have to stop engaging with whatever or whomever it is that may be pulling you back into their unhealthy behavior. Does that help?

 

Suz James August 7 at 10:56am

but is it forgiveness? I just want a right relationship with God. At this point in my life, that is all that matters

 

 

Brenda Branson August 7 at 11:17am

It may not be forgiveness if you still hold resentment and bitterness in your heart. It may be forgiveness if you have submitted yourself completely to God, allowing Him to bring justice in His time and releasing the person into His hands. Forgiveness is a process that begins with a choice to let go of your right to punish another person. When you really give that right to punish back to God where it belongs, the feelings of forgiveness will follow in time and you’ll begin to see that person through God’s eyes. Compassion for that person will grow and thankfulness in your heart for the forgiveness God has shown you will also grow. Forgiveness does not mean you want to re-engage in the relationship or the craziness, especially if the other person has not changed. I’ve also found that I’ve had to remind myself of my decision to forgive when something happens to stir up those old feelings of hurt and resentment. In both the original choice of forgiveness and subsequent reminders, I can’t do it in my own power–I have to access the power and strength that the Spirit provides within me instead of allowing my human nature to rule.

 

 

Suz James August 7 at 11:27am

but what if you die before you reach that place where you forgive everyone…. then God won’t forgive you

 

Brenda Branson August 7 at 11:45am

Suz, I don’t think the Bible teaches that God’s forgiveness is dependent on our actions. I know Jesus said to forgive so we would be forgiven, but I think He was talking about our relationships with people, not about our relationship with God. If our eternity with God was dependent on what we do, then it diminishes the sacrifice Jesus made for all our sins. When anyone dies, even the most godly person, there will be sin in that person’s life because of our human nature. But we don’t go to heaven based on our own righteousness, but on the righteousness of Christ. If our righteousness had anything to do with it, we’d all be damned. Think about the thief on the cross . . . I doubt he had time to forgive everyone before he trusted in Jesus as Messiah, yet Jesus affirmed his place in heaven based on his faith alone. It is through the righteousness of Christ that we can stand before God as His beloved, and it is because we have been forgiven that we can forgive. Forgiveness is not a condition of heaven, but a principle for living and an expression of God’s character.

Suz James August 7 at 11:50am

THIS – makes sense

 

<ul>
 <li><a href=”http://godlovedme.com/bible-answers/will-god-forgive-m/”>Am I Forgiven?</a></li>
 <li><a href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/unforgiveness-part-1/”>Forgiveness PT1: Am I Forgiven?</a></li>
 <li><a title=”Forgiveness, Am I Saved?” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/unforgiveness-part-2/”>forgiveness PT2: Am I Saved?</a></li>
 <li><a title=”What is Forgiveness” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/forgive-as-we-forgive/”>Forgiveness PT3: What Forgiveness is not</a></li>
 <li><a title=”God’s Forgiveness” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/forgiveness-relationships-god-bible/”>Forgiveness PT4: Forgiveness and Your Relationship with God</a></li>
 <li><a title=”Unforgiveness” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/unforgiveness-gods-love/”>Forgiveness PT5: How Does Unforgiveness Hurt Us?</a></li>
 <li><a title=”Forgiveness and Healing” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/how-to-forgive-healing/”>Forgiveness PT6: Steps to Forgiveness and Healing</a></li>
 <li><a title=”What is Forgiveness?” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/what-does-bible-say-christian-forgiveness/”>What Does Forgiveness Mean to You?</a></li>
 <li><a title=”Christians and Unforgiveness” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/unforgiveness-part-1/”>Unforgivenes PT1: Christians Must Deal With Unforgivenss at Some Point</a></li>
 <li><a title=”Overcoming and Removing unforgiveness” href=”http://godlovedme.com/uncategorized/unforgiveness-part-2/”>Unforgiveness PT2: Steps to Removing Unforgiveness</a></li>
</ul>

One Comment So Far...

  1. Well said! Forgiveness is for the one offering it, not for the person that has been hurting them.


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