Monday, October 24, 2011

A question of forgiveness.

We are told we should forgive others not just once, but several times.

But what if the person who has hurt us does not seek forgiveness, is not repentant and does not show any remorse whatsoever? In fact, what if that person revels in what they have done and boasts about it?

What then?


  1. We are still called to love them. It's going to be hard. It's going to hurt. You're going to want to hurt them... But ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?"

    Jesus was put to death by people that, in the end, he still loved with all his heart.

  2. Its really hard.. but if we remain in Christ He will give us strength. I struggle with this very thing sometimes.. to forgive and most of all to let it go. A wise old priest once said that what Jesus meant by that whole forgiving 7 times 7 (which is a figure he said that represents an unlimited amount)is that we have to keep on forgiving the same offence because we are not just going to forget it. Our memories aren't built that way. When the memory of the hurt, shame, anger whatever comes up, we're called to forgive that person yet again!

    Of greater importance to us is that holding onto unforgiveness hurts US and not the other person.

    Sooo hard.. but not impossible to do if we lean on Him.

  3. If Jesus could be beaten and put to death by those who reveled in it, and still love them by asking God "to forgive them for they do not know what they do." We can try and do the same even though it is extremely difficult.

  4. You know,when we pray the Our Father we say "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". This is a tall order that Jesus has given us,isn't it. Some of us can do this and some of us can't. Sometimes, mental scarring runs so deep that forgiven becomes a struggle our whole lives. Yet, it is in this honest struggle that we strive to live out the teachings of Christ.
    Sometimes we can only approach forgiveness one step at a time, one day at a time, one second at a time.

    God sees our hearts and he understands.

  5. Their degree of remorse has no impact. We will be forgiven as we are forgiven the Our Father our Savior taught us, and the parable of the steward that was forgiven a zillion and then would not forgive a pittance (my memory of the exact title fails me and you have a sense of humor, Victor) are the teachings we need to come back too, as well as what Noreen said, our Savior's example!

  6. Thank you for your thoughts on this question. It arose out of a discussion recently.

    I know of a case where the individual who did the hurting is proud of the fact that they have been clever. And the one hurt continues to hurt.

    Sometimes it is too difficult to stop hurting and to forgive when the wrong-doing is continuously brought to you as a reminder.

    It should not stop us from trying though. Perhaps one way of easing the pain is by praying for those who hurt us.

    God bless.

  7. I live this question, as you know. Many of us do. I have spent a lifetime forgiving my father. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. And I think when it comes to really serious hurts, it does take a lifetime. I do have to forgive him over and over. As I heal bit by bit from the sexual abuse, and new layers of hurt show up, I have to forgive yet again.
    Reconciliation? That is different. Reconciliation needs 2 people to do. Reconciliation needs remorse and the one who did the hurting to want to make everything right.

  8. Thank you Colleen for your comment and for making the distinction between forgiveness and reconciliation.

    In the case I mentioned the person who did the hurting is in no way remorseful nor seeking any forgiveness. And this makes it very difficult for the one hurt to forgive. No matter how honest and serious is the attempt to forgive the hurt takes over especially when the other party revels in their wrong-doing.

    God bless.