Forgive. And Forget?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Precepts, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. Precepts

    Precepts
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    When dealing with offenses as all pastors do inside the local assembly, how is it you handle the forgetting of the offense, or do you see that as necessary?

    This relates to another thread, but I would like to keep it from bleeding over into this discussion, my motive is not to debate, just receive light.
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The issue of "forgetting" is much misunderstood. We as humans can not very likely forget, either the offense of hte hurt. And forgetting is not required in forgiveness. Otherwise we could never forgive.

    The standard for our forgiveness is God (Eph 4:32) ... forgive as God in Christ forgave you. Did God forget our sins???? Of course not. He is omniscient. To suggest that God forgets something is to impugn his omniscient.

    What did God do in forgiveness? He chose to treat us as if our sin didn't happen.

    Therefore, our forgiveness is

    1) We choose to act as if the offense didn't happen, i.e., we choose not to act in light of the offense.

    2) We promise not to bring it up ... to me, to you, or to anyone else, again. It is over.
     
  3. SaggyWoman

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    If we have truly forgiven it isn't that we "forget" because I know I don't forget, though I block out a lot from my mind. It is that we ust don't continue to rehash it. It sure makes a lot of difference on relationships.
     
  4. David Mark

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    To me, forgiveness from God says: If I remember something you did I do not hold you accountable for it. I will never use your past to make you feel bad about yourself. As far as the East is from the West, have I removed your transgressions.

    I do not consider it an offense to me. Someone else stepped in for you and I bruised him and it satisfied me.

    I do not hold any good thing from you because of something you've done to me.

    I do not bring up your past sins when we meet.

    I am always ready to start afresh with you.

    I am not angry with you at all, and I won't have a crossed look on my face when we meet. You are precious to me.

    I will not agree with anyone who accuses you.

    I will use my own creative ability to keep you from destroying yourself over your own guilt and fear of me or what you think I might do to you.

    I will discipline you, but I will do it with all the love in my heart. It will hurt (I know that), but I promise that it will make you better. I will never be angry or wrath with you when I discipline you. I can comfort you like a mother comforts.

    Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me.

    To experience this kind of forgiveness, one must believe in the one whom God has sent. Jesus is that door.

    I should also be like this. I must forgive men of their trespasses. It is one proof (at least to myself) that I am a child of my Father.

    Smile, [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  5. JustAsIAm

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    I hope this isn't too far off topic, but I'd like to add to the question. (I like how QS said it, I'm just looking to "receive light"!)

    What if the offender does not apologise or otherwise seek forgiveness? In that case we would still need to forgive in order to heal ourselves, but can we act as if the offense never happened? Wouldn't we need to be prudent and take into account the offense of the person in our future dealings with them?

    An example would be a Christian woman with a husband who beats her. She could forgive, but to act as if it didn't happen would place her in danger.
     
  6. David Mark

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    I agree, it would place her in physical danger and it's a perplexing example.

    It does seem that forgiveness and forgetting are not the same with man. If there is only remembering and no forgiveness then there doesn't seem to be hope for any kind of "salvation" either. Even in the situation you mentioned, vengeance, hate and un-forgiveness obviously can't make it better.

    Just don't forget to forgive. There is just too much tied to our being forgiving.

    To unbelievers, this must sound like the ultimate weakness, but to believers, it is the ultimate strength.

    Dave.
     
  7. Precepts

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    I like the responses for the most part, and truly there are circumstances that have to be considered, especially in the extreme situations where physical abuse is the case. But in the area of forgiveness as far as God is concerned, we find that when we have been convicted, become guilty of tresspass, being broken and contrite, I find Him so ready to forgive us, cleanse us, that He casts our sins as far as the East is from West, cast into His sea of forgetfulness.

    Now I fully understand that we as mortal cannot necessarilly forget an occaision of offense, but we as Christians, Christ being God, shouldn't we also be able to cast those sins against us to the same extremeties as our Heavenly Father?

    I have a friend of thirty years. We've had our differences, myself usually being on the offensive, but that hasn't always been the case. We look back at those times and laugh, the offense forgotten, covered by the charity between us and though that offense isn't forgotten, the hurt is.

    Now if I am seeing this right, my standard cannot be higher than the Lord's, so my analogy in comparison is satisfactory to the principle taught in scripture about forgiveness, forgetting those things which are behind.

    Don't we have a Perfect God? A Good Gracious God that forgives and forgets? Then shouldn't we also? Yes, I do believe so.

    There is so much called forgiveness regarding Christians, but the offense is still active and bitterness is preventing and defiling those around them. It is rooted in pride and harming the cause of Christ. Churches are divided against one another, that does not go without saying for a good reason in some situations, but since the addage of "forgive and forget" is accepted in the secular realm, will we as Christians allow the lost world, rooted in secular humanisn have a higher standard?

    It'as not a matter of choosing which I like best, but merely the principle taught by example of our Lord, ya know, the One we are supposed to be conformed to?
     
  8. gb93433

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    I have always like the statement: Why resurrect what God has buried. When we do not forgive we choose to let the other person control us. We must be free from that bondage and let Christ control us. For Christ's love constrains us.
     
  9. David Mark

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    Hi QuickeningSpirit,

    The light is a bright place to spend time and the Apostle has much to say about it. The light shows me things that I hate about myself even still. I'm either going to avoid the light or lean on his forgiveness so I can stay in the light. If I stay in the light I continue to see stuff that I don't like about myself and it does break me.

    IMhO, I think those who believe and continue in the light, also find that wonderful, extensive, continual forgiveness of God. This is the thing that influences my character and how I treat others. You should hear it in my conversation, in the very first words I speak. If I live in darkness, you will hear it in my conversation also.

    Forgiveness and Love seem tied together.

    To me, much forgiveness from God can't help but overflow the sides of the cup and affect others. If I forgive sparingly, selectively or even rarely, then that might be how I perceive God's forgiveness and love to me and to others. If I don't know what true forgiveness is, I cannot practice it very well or offer it accurately.

    I find myself falling short, but I also see myself growing too. Even if no one really notices or says anything to me, I notice it, and it is a proof to me (privately) that God is Father to me and that as instructed, more than a hearer of the word only.

    Thanks to the Lamb.

    Dave.
     
  10. David Mark

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    Amen!

    [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  11. Precepts

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    Thanks guys, I appreciate the responses, as well as any more to come.

    I used some of your posts in my SS class this morning nad the kids eyes got opened to the truth according to the principle by God's own example of forgiving and forgetting.

    I used the wrestling hold called a "Full Nelson" where I ran my arms under theirs locking my fingers clasped behind their necks and asked them if they could break loose, and to their no avail.

    I showed them how if we don't reckon things of offense as dead, they can rise from the dead and put us in a headlock and hinder us in our liberty to walk with God.

    There's something to it when the thing has died and been buried in the grave. If we don't realize the truth of scripture, it's like saying that ghosts are real and they can come up out of the grave and haunt us the rest of our lives..

    We have to admit that "believing in ghosts" hinders us from doing things and going places because of things that "go bump" in the night.

    David Mark, I love your understanding as shown in your posts of the principle of walking in the light as He is in the light.

    Thank you
     
  12. Jamal5000

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    QS,

    When I think of forgiving versus forgetting, I think not only of Ephesians 4:32 (like Pastor Larry said) but also of Colossians 3:13-14.

    When you forget, you stop remembering what happened. Who can really do that? I know I can't.

    When you forgive, you don't penalize the person or punish them for what they offended you about by refusing to relate to them, by refusing to help them, by refusing to fellowship with them, or by refusing to share with them. Can you do that totally? Yes, but it MAY take time and it REQUIRES a refusal to submit to NAIVETE.

    If someone throws a rock at you and hits in the head, you forgive them...but you don't forget that he threw the rock. If the same person throws the same kind/size rock at you while you stand in the exact same place as you did before, do you just stand there and let it whollop you in the head, again? Of course not. You get out of the way, and tell your friend not to do that, again...each time he throws the rock. Even though you keep putting yourself in the same position, you defend yourself each time through evasive action AND direct intervention.

    That's why God tells us to put up with each other when we treat each other bad. In the case of a abusive wife, should the forgiving wife continue to let him beat up on her? No, she needs to defend herself by AVOIDING those beatings and directly confronting him about his behavior, NOT by fighting back. If children are involved, she should do whatever she needs to keep them from letting the sin directly/indirectly hurt her and them.

    Forgive.

    TRY to forget.

    DON'T let the person commit the sin with you again without DEFENDING yourself from further damage from the sin and without directly REBUKING the person.

    It works, but it takes courage and LOTS of patience.

    In Christ,
    J5Grand [​IMG]
     
  13. Servent

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    Have you ever woundered why our sins are cast as far as the east is from the west?
    Why not as far as the north is from the south?
     
  14. David Mark

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    I thought Mr. Gill's commentary was interesting to read.

    In regards to: As far as the East is from the West...

    I think of it this way. I could travel a million miles going East and I would still be going East for the next million miles in that direction. [​IMG]

    Dave
     
  15. Servent

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    I used this in a sermon on forgiveness one time, If a person gets on a plane and starts flying north at some point because of the magnetic poles of the earth he will be flying south, But at the same time if another plane takes off flying east no matter how many times he circles the earth he will always be flying east.
     
  16. SaggyWoman

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    Spousal abuse is of no excuse. If my husband loves me, then "IF" he "abuses" me, the spirit of God will have to speak to him to correct.

    Unless the spirit of God interacts, or if he is unsubmissive to the spirit of God (meaning his heart has hardened) there is nothing short of me leaving him, never to remarry, that solves the problem. I will not stay with an abusive situation.

    I am learning to understand submission, but submitting to physical abuse particularly, and in some cases levels of emotional abuse, is not what God has intended.

    There are shallow levels of emotional abuse that sometimes changes with maturity or a better understanding of a relationship. Sometimes, too, we wear our feelings on our sleeves.
     

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