73 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-5-21

  1. Good snowy morning! We have about 9 inches of wet heavy snow and it is glorious! But looking at the flattened out squirrel on that tree fully leafed makes me want Spring to get here! Our high temp for today?….50! We will be having some snow melt happening and some very slushy roads!

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  2. Good morning, beautiful day here as well. Much warmer. Moses is coming by to off a few roosters, and, I suspect, to eye this year’s lamb production. I am leaving it all to husband as I am taking a sick day. That is okay, usually it is on me, he can handle it.

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  3. Squirrel!

    Friday, this week did go fast.

    Went in for my 6-mo dental cleaning yesterday, had X-rays also done, everything is good. Talking to the dentist, he made the comment about how he normally loves to talk about politics but it’s just off-limits anymore. “Everyone’s so angry,” he said.

    What’s with the anger these days? I can see a lot of elements that have fed into it, from social media to pandemic frustration — and just a growing extremism on both sides, whether that’s a cause or symptom, I’m not sure. Maybe both.

    But the anger and rage just isn’t good.

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  4. Have you ever known a bitter fellow believer who leans on Luke 17:3 – “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” – to refuse to forgive, because the other person/people have not asked for forgiveness?

    I am trying to help a fellow believer (but possible not) who is very bitter against Christians in her past who were hurtful in some ways, and I commented that I hoped she would be able to forgive them, for her own sake. She mentioned Luke 17:3, and said that they have never asked for forgiveness, so she doesn’t have to forgive them.

    Do any of you have any insight into how to approach this?

    My thought is to point out that that is the only verse (that I know of) that puts that restriction on forgiveness, and remind her of what Jesus said after giving us “the Lord’s prayer” (that we need to forgive others to be forgiven ourselves), and the verse about loving our enemies (which I think would include forgiving them, unless I am mistaken). Any other ideas?

    I’ve also thought of the fact that the verse mentions confronting the offender, which she has not done.

    And btw, according to all the other verses about forgiveness, wouldn’t we still need to forgive, even if the other person refused to acknowledge their guilt against us?

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  5. Hi all.

    Instead of more reporting about covid in the household (see the prayer thread this week), I thought I’d share some good news that happened last month:

    3rd Arrow got engaged. 🙂

    We are pleased to be receiving this nice Christian man as a son-in-law in future months. He’s been coming to our house every Sunday (during non-quarantine times) after church, hanging out and watching the movie 5th Arrow selects each week. 🙂

    Sweet times.

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  6. congratulations 6!

    Good topic, Kizzie.

    Briefly for now, I remember reading something from the Peacemaker ministry that made sense to me on the issue of forgiving those who haven’t asked for forgiveness.

    While it’s true that full forgiveness cannot come without both parties actively involved, Christians are always to have a disposition of forgiveness — we should always be ready and eager to forgive, our stance should be one of open arms and prayer; once the issue has been explained to the other person, we then go on to pray for and treat the other person, if we’re interacting with them regularly, with respect and kindness.

    Not saying THAT’S always (or even ever) easy, but it helped clarify what my attitude needs to be toward others whom I may have something against. Rather than fuel what is natural in us — resentment, bitterness — we are to pray actively on their behalf, and for their good.

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  7. I think our pastor once explained that praying for our ‘enemies’ challenges us to pray in a way that we see ourselves as “on their side,” praying for their good, we are to declare ourselves teammates of theirs in that sense. Pray for their salvation — or, if they are believers, for them to grow in their faith, for circumstances that will bring them closer to God in their lives.

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  8. But we do have earthly “enemies” as the Bible puts it, all part of being human and living with other humans in a fallen world. And it is hard to pray “for” your enemies with full enthusiasm sometimes.

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  9. CBD update: the package expected yesterday has been busy. Monday was Illinois as you recall, then Thursday was Kent, Washington followed by Union Gap, Washington. This morning it reached Lewiston and is en route to the house for possible delivery today.
    The one due last Tuesday has now left the Seattle Center and is in transit. Due at some point somewhere.
    These are Easter and school items so we have time.

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  10. Kizzie, many people in church are nominal Christians who don’t represent Jesus well by their actions. I would tell the person you are dealing with that it could be the case with the offenders that they are not mature believers. Then explain that Jesus died to cover all the sins of the world but not everyone wants to accept that free gift of forgiveness and repent. God gives that choice. But if someone does accept the forgiveness of Christ and they are a true Christian then God expects that person to rise up with the power of God and forgive others as they have been forgiven by Him. The person will feel a gap between the forgiveness they can muster up and full Christian forgiveness. Jesus is the gap filler making all things possible, even forgiveness of those we feel we could never forgive.

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  11. Kizzie, there is another verse on forgiveness that your friend forgot: “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.” (Mark 11:25) Christ modelled this kind of forgiveness in his prayer on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

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  12. I have actually heard it argued quite often that repentance is a prerequisite for forgiveness. I’ve never totally figured out whether I agree, but I googled the idea and here is an article that makes the case well. (Now, being harsh and condemning toward the person who has never repented isn’t what is being called for. But forgiveness suggests the issue has been “resolved,” and without repentance, it really has not.)

    “If we are realistic, then the wisdom of repentance as a pre-condition to forgiveness shows when we consider trusting someone who has wronged us. Unless the person who sinned against me acknowledges what he did, how am I to know he will not do so again? I would be foolish to continue subjecting myself to abuse, and I would have difficulty “living in harmony” of a reconciled relationship of trusting someone who had wronged me in the past.”

    https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2017/can-there-be-forgiveness-without-repentance-part-1

    And there is a part 2: “Common Christian talk about forgiveness tends not to include the necessity of repentance; consequently, many Christians attempt forgiveness and yet fail to live in it. . . . Without the other person’s repentance, our problem remains of not being able to forgive them. We continue to bear the injury when they will not take responsibility, and so we will suffer additionally the bitterness of having been wronged. This is the bitterness of injustice. Instead of pretending to forgive them at a distance and without their repentance, I suggest that we recourse to the idea of pardoning them. The pardon allows us to set aside the injury and our bitterness into God’s hands. The pardon does not advance relationship with them, since reconciliation cannot occur without forgiveness, which depends on repentance (which sometimes depends on our part to “show him his fault”). Romans 12:14-21 urges Christians, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (NASB). We cannot make others to be at peace with us, but we can work for their repentance and refrain from taking revenge.”

    https://www.biola.edu/blogs/good-book-blog/2017/can-there-be-forgiveness-without-repentance-part-2

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  13. You may have covered the, I scanned the comments but couldn’t find it.

    Kizzie, 11:14. Did the offending person realize that he/she has offended someone?

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  14. Michelle – I made the point to her that unforgiveness is a poison, and that forgiveness is as much or more for our own sake than for the other person’s.

    Janice – She had already said that others have told her that what had been done by those people was done in what they must have thought were her best interests. (It involves things like being told she was bad for reading the Harry Potter series or other ways of being put down for not toeing the “Christian” line in the way they thought it should be toed. One incident was someone deliberately ruining a cassette tape she had because the person apparently thought that any music other than “Christian” music was evil. She was a sensitive teen at the time, so these incidents hurt her more than they might an older person.)

    I felt a distinct nudge from the Holy Spirit to not try to justify or soften their actions, but to gently urge her to forgive, if only for her own sake and peace of mind. In fact, I didn’t even word it in such a way, but said that I hoped that she could find forgiveness in her heart, for her own sake. Knowing her as I do, it seems to me that trying to do find an explanation for their words and actions would have made it seem that I was trying to minimize what they did and said rather than trying to understand her feelings.

    With someone else, perhaps a mature believer, offering an explanation of why someone may have said or done something offensive may be accepted and considered, but with someone who is not too mature, and tends towards being easily offended, it is better to try another tack.

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  15. Chas – No, I don’t believe so.

    Cheryl – I haven’t read the links yet, so maybe this is included, but what about in the case of the offended person not bothering to approach the offender and tell them what they had done to offend/hurt them, but then holding on to the unforgiveness? YA (that is the person I have been referring to, in case no one guessed) is leaning on Luke 17:3 to justify her unforgiveness (which over the years has turned into a strong, deep bitterness) but she did not apply the first part.

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  16. Here is my response to her:

    “[YA], I am truly sorry that you feel that way, as forgiveness is as much (or more) for ourselves than it is for the other. Forgiveness heals our own hearts. Here are a few thoughts:

    Luke 17:3 begins with “rebuking” (which doesn’t necessarily mean in an angry, harsh way, although the word seems to have that connotation) the person who has offended you. If you haven’t approached them about this, then how can they apologize? It is also possible that with time and greater age and maturity, they have repented to God for past hurts they may have caused.

    But also, of the many, many verses about forgiveness, that one is the only one that I can think of that has that “restriction”.

    “The Lord’s Prayer” includes:
    “And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.”

    Followed up by Jesus saying:
    “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

    The verses about loving our enemies are not specifically about forgiveness, but it would seem that we need to forgive to truly love.

    Again, forgiveness is a way to heal our own hearts, as unforgiveness is like a poison. It doesn’t mean that we are saying that what the other person did was okay, but that we are letting go of the resentment, which further releases the matter into God’s hands.”

    A few minutes later, I added:

    “And right after I posted that, I thought of this, from Colossians 3:12-13:

    “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

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  17. More info helps, Kizzie. I would agree that they were wrong in taking God’s place in making their judgement. They were wrong to destroy the property. I would in no way be supportive of what they did. But then I would point out scripture about how we are to forgive so God won’t hold our lack of forgiveness against us. We may not understand why he requires this but He is sovereign and sets the rules. I suppose in a sense, when we harbor unforgiveness, it is like saying whatever we are angry about has hold on us and becomes like an idol that takes our hearts and minds away from God. It is not worth it to lose good standing and a close relationship with God.

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  18. Forgiveness: whether or not the other repents is not our call. We are to repent of our sins but we can’t make others do so. We can forgive because God does tell us to do so. That heals us. If they repent, they can heal as well. If they don’t, they will have that to deal with before God. If we don’t forgive, we will have that to deal with before God.

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  19. Kizzie, by the way, I don’t believe being a sensitive teen is an excuse. Lots of sensitive teens are rather insensitive. They are all “just” humans.

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  20. Kizzie, if it involves YA, I’m not sure I see the point in having the discussion. You are probably lumped in with the “bad Christians” in her mind.

    Also, most likely they communicated harshly and unlovingly, and destroying someone’s property because you don’t like it is generally not appropriate. (A parent might justifiably take such an action in some circumstances.) As an adult, my take on such things is that other people are entitled to their opinions, even if they are wrong. They may be wrong in how they communicate those opinions, but they owe no apologies for holding them, or even expressing them, if they do so within the realm of polite communication. It’s trickier when it’s a child involved, or adult memories of something that happened in childhood, but in general my take on such things is you disagree with her, she disagrees with you; talk about it or don’t, but accept it that you disagree and move on.

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  21. From a friend’s email:

    PONDERISMS

    Why do peanuts float in a regular coke and sink in a diet coke. Go ahead and try it…..

    I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.

    How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

    Why do you have to “put your two cents in”… but it’s only a “penny for your thoughts”? Where’s that extra penny going? (taxes)

    Once you’re in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

    What disease did cured ham actually have?

    How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

    Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up like every two hours?

    If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

    Why are you IN a movie, but you’re ON TV?

    Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

    Why do doctors leave the room while you change??? They’re going to see you naked anyway.

    Why is “bra” singular and “panties” plural?

    Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

    Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

    If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he fix a hole in a boat?

    If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

    If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

    Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

    Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

    Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

    HOW DID THE MAN WHO MADE THE FIRST CLOCK, KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS?

    NOW WASN’T that fun to read? Now Smile, It is OK.

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  22. Re cheryl’s post, that’s what I think mine also was trying to get at — we are always to have a disposition of forgiveness, an ever-ready willingness to forgive. But for actual reconciliation (and a fullness of the forgiveness actually executed), it requires both parties.

    But I also think what many are getting at is we are not to hold on to a grudge or bitterness or resentment in a real or perceived personal wrong. But rather we are to put on Christ, as the Bible says, and live in that spirit of always praying and desiring for a full, two-way repentance and forgiveness to bring the situation into reconciliation.

    But even if that never happens, it should never mean that we remain in a state of resentment — and that’s our work to do.

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  23. Mumsee – I mentioned that she was a sensitive teen because sensitivity mixed with the immaturity of a teenager can make those things that happened seem worse at the time. If you are a sensitive teen trying your best to be a good Christian girl (as she thought she was doing), you’re gonna take those unloving or ignorant rebukes to heart in a deep way. But yes, even so, she should not have clung to the unforgiveness and bitterness she has.

    Cheryl – The reason I didn’t initially identify her as YA (although I thought some might guess from some things I’ve written in the past) is because I didn’t want that to color the responses.

    Considering my past “discussions” with her, and how she has been towards me, I realize that this may seem like a fool’s errand, or casting pearls before swine. And I acknowledge that it just may turn out to be that way. But I have been aware of her great bitterness towards those Christians, and some others by extension, for several years, and have often prayed for God to convict her of that and to heal her heart of the hurts (real or imagined – and I do know that some she has mentioned were imagined) as well.

    So when this latest discussion popped up (after having deliberately not engaged with her on her Facebook posts for quite a while now), I felt the need to gently and briefly say that I hoped she could find forgiveness in her heart for those people, for her own sake. (That was my first reply to her. The one I shared above was after she replied with a rather bitter comment that mentioned Luke 17:3 as her reasoning.) My motivation is not to argue, but to show concern for her. To make that clear, after posting those responses I shared above, I briefly said that, in case it wasn’t clear, my words were not intended to lecture her, but out of concern for her.

    So I am putting the situation into God’s hands, and asking Him to get through to her, to melt her heart, and either save her (if she is not truly saved, as I tend to suspect) or draw her into a deeper faith and trust, and to do a transformative work in her heart and mind. I am not going to let this turn into an argument or debate.

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  24. Maybe you should suggest she ask God to reveal how she has hurt others in similar ways?
    Although, I am with Cheryl that even discussing with YA is not an endeavor I would do. Jesus didn’t keep trying to talk the Pharisees into believing; he moved on to others. YA is often telling people things that are insensitive or insisting they are evil or wrong. Expecting all people to have treated you right in life and always be sensitive to you is immature. It is also hypocritical unless you can, honestly, say you have never done so to others. If YA thinks she hasn’t, she is blind to her own faults. We are also not going to have everyone agree with us that they have wronged us. Sometimes you get to state your case with them; other times you can only state it to God, who sometimes shows you how you also have sinned similarly to others and expect forgiveness for yourself.

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  25. Forgiveness and trust are also different. I have forgiven the other person, but don’t want to fellowship with them or be around them as I don’t trust them. Okay, I am speaking of my ex who is still disfellowshipped from the church.

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  26. Kathaleena – I certainly have thought of the irony of her holding onto bitterness over having been treated less than sensitively, and yet being offensive herself. On Facebook, she has blocked two or three of my friends because she was highly offended that they treated her as she treats others. Of course, she did not express in quite that way. 🙂

    Sadly, I have seen that same mindset in some others I have known personally.

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  27. Re forgiveness: Twice in the last year I have had someone tell me “I forgive you” when I did not ask for forgiveness (and, arguably, when I didn’t do anything wrong). Though I’m pretty sure neither person meant to be arrogant, it came across that way: “You (Cheryl) have offended me, and haven’t even asked for my forgiveness, but I am such a gracious person that I’ll forgive you without even being asked.” Having been on the receiving end of that, I’ll say that if you’re ever tempted to say “I forgive you” to a person who hasn’t expressed any sense of wrongdoing, please don’t; it doesn’t come across as grace but as judge-and-jury judgment.

    But as to whether one can forgive an offense that hasn’t been repented, that is a tricky one, and I’m leaning toward the idea that one can choose to “overlook” it but not really “forgive” it. It may be that the difference between you and another person is a slight one, a difference of opinion in which one person speaks a little too strongly or someone accidentally breaks something that belongs to the other person but doesn’t realize the fault, or something like that–something the wronged person can shrug off as “no harm intended, and bringing it up would be being petty.” Or maybe you bring it up and the person justifies himself and excuses it. You can choose to let it go, especially if it’s a first-time offense. That’s my own inclination in such cases: I’ve mentioned what happened that I didn’t like, and the other person believes his actions to have been justified, so I can accept it as a difference of opinion and we can move on.

    But let’s imagine that it’s a fairly big offense. A husband is caught using porn, or a son stole $20 from a parent’s wallet. In what sense can you “forgive” if the other person doesn’t repent (and make it right, if possible)? Trust has been broken. You can choose to overlook the offense, but the relationship can’t be restored on the same level. So I think in that instance, if there has been clear sin involved, and the person who has sinned refuses to acknowledge it, “forgiveness” really isn’t “the next step” that is needed.

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  28. What Jo said. I can forgive and yet (I don’t call it a lack of trust so much as learning from experience). Forgiving is not the same as putting back onto the same path. Forgiveness and repentance of the offender may lead to that but it is not automatic. That is good stewardship.

    You borrow my bike and leave it out in the street where it gets run over. I can forgive it even if you don’t acknowledge it. You can be repentant and I can forgive and still not let you borrow my new bike but might offer a different solution. Or I might believe it is time to go ahead and offer the new bike. None is sinning as forgiveness is there.

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  29. Well, Kizzie, she is very sorry for me and is praying for me. Not sure what God she is praying for me to, however. I pray she will see the truth one day.

    Yes, there are people I have forgiven, but I will not trust them.

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  30. Cheryl, agreed but I think forgiveness will heal the heart of the offended better than “overlook” and I think God offers that as a real option. Total healing of the relationship will not occur without both parties, but a person does not have to stay in the offended camp, held captive by the other’s refusal to acknowledge.

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  31. Cheryl: “I’ll say that if you’re ever tempted to say “I forgive you” to a person who hasn’t expressed any sense of wrongdoing, please don’t; it doesn’t come across as grace but as judge-and-jury judgment”

    So true, and sometimes in the same way telling someone you’ll pray for them can come across as less than sincere (if it’s a relationship that’s seeing a disagreement). Better sometimes just to go ahead and pray without announcing it and potentially stirring up more hard feelings, warranted or not.

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  32. Mumsee, does overlooking a sin really mean staying in the offended camp and “held captive by the other’s refusal to acknowledge”? I don’t think it does. I think it is recognizing that not everything will be healed on this earth.

    Kizzie, I wasn’t questioning why you didn’t mention that it was YA. It simply changes the question considerably, because now we are talking about someone who probably isn’t a Christian, and who doesn’t seem all that interested in your opinions on things. It’s still an interesting topic, but it isn’t a topic that is likely to do her much good. Good arguments aren’t going to convince her; the issue isn’t an intellectual one. And I know that is part of what you’re getting at, trying to get to the heart of her hurt. But the discussion on here is looking at a Christian topic through theological lenses–and she isn’t interested in that.

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  33. yeah for packages arriving!!!
    here I gave a haus meri a small extra cash gift for Christmas. She left me a note that she was not happy with my gift, me no amamas. I felt like telling her to give it back. later she told me she forgave me. I felt that she had wronged me by her note. very confusing. But I will admit that someone else who hired her gave her lots of stuff so her expectations had been built up.

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  34. I am happy for you, Mumsee. And I am amazed by the trips your packages go on before arrival. Being in a large city does make for more straight shot deliveries. Oh, the places your packages will go!
    Lions to all!

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  35. Jo, that is a common problem. With children, I used to try to hire some for the occasional odd job but they looked down on my paltry ten to twenty dollars an hour as they were used to big farmers pay. Probably why my children were so welcome out in the community, they would work and work well for smaller fees. Now the community can find no children willing to work.

    The exception would be the young fellow who is a father and not willing to work for anything under seventeen an hour so refused to get a job until he got some real money. He is in the National Guard now, I don’t think they pay that well.

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  36. Cheryl, I have been cogitating. I guess when I think of “overlook” I am thinking of how my children wash the dinner table. Sometimes they overlook a considerable amount of crumbs. The mess is still there. If we overlook an offense, the mess is still there. We are passive. If we forgive an offense we are actually doing something and the mess is gone from our table. May still be clinging to the offender, but not on our table. Reasonable difference?

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  37. DJ, I have never understood an offer of forgiveness without a person asking for it. That is why I believe we can forgive (in our hearts) without the other making a move. It just seems terribly rude and condescending to say “you are forgiven” when the other party is unaware of the situation. Perhaps an introduction of, “I was sad when …..” and the other person would generally realize and apologize but not always.

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  38. Part 2 of the two articles Cheryl shared makes an interesting distinction between forgiving and pardoning.

    “Without the other person’s repentance, our problem remains of not being able to forgive them. We continue to bear the injury when they will not take responsibility, and so we will suffer additionally the bitterness of having been wronged. This is the bitterness of injustice. Instead of pretending to forgive them at a distance and without their repentance, I suggest that we recourse to the idea of pardoning them. The pardon allows us to set aside the injury and our bitterness into God’s hands. The pardon does not advance relationship with them, since reconciliation cannot occur without forgiveness, which depends on repentance (which sometimes depends on our part to “show him his fault”). Romans 12:14-21 urges Christians, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (NASB). We cannot make others to be at peace with us, but we can work for their repentance and refrain from taking revenge.

    Against the reflex of taking revenge, Paul warns us not to, and then follows this with the assurance that God “will repay” the wrongs done to us (Rom. 12:19). As a matter of justice, we sometimes hold on to bitterness subconsciously as a desire to maintain justice, but this only hurts us. Instead of revenge and bitterness, and when the possibility of forgiveness is out of our hands because of the offender’s refusal to repent, we have the option of pardoning the wrong done through handing it off to God’s justice for him to deal with as he thinks best. Practically, I have found this to work by unburdening myself to God. “I don’t want to carry this anymore, God. I give it into Your hands.” Pardon is the less desirable option than forgiveness (leading to reconciliation), but it is the better option than bitterness or revenge.”

    At first, I thought “Aren’t pardoning and forgiving pretty much the same thing?” (Part of the definition at Dictionary.com is forgiving an offense.) After thinking about it, and reading some more of your comments, it seems to me that perhaps this writer is making the distinction that forgiveness includes reconciliation, but pardon does not. But it still seems to me that in both cases, a type of forgiveness is being given – one with the hope of reconciliation, and one without that.

    Does that make sense to any of you?

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  39. Cheryl – I understand what you mean about YA. Believe me, I was hesitant and cautious about replying to her. On one hand, you are right that she is probably not a true believer and thus not really interested in real theology. On the other hand, she thinks she is a true believer, and she is the one who brought up Luke 17:3, opening the door to discuss it more theologically.

    It is true that when she brings up a Bible verse or some type of theology, it is usually to make her own point, but I still pray that an occasional engagement about it will maybe someday have an effect on her. It is interesting to read what verses or statements have “flipped the switch” for some people to repent and turn to Christ.

    (Maybe I should explain “flipped the switch”. I’m not sure if I thought of this myself or if I read someone else use the phrase, but it is how I sometimes refer to the moment when the Holy Spirit gets through to a person, and it is as if a light switch has been suddenly flipped from Off to On. Of course, with some – or many – people, coming to Christ is not as “sudden”, but more of a slow awakening.)

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  40. Kizzie, I suppose there could be levels of forgiveness in what you are getting at, but that almost sounds like holding onto some portion of anger toward someone instead of letting it all go. Is there restoration of a relationship? Or is the relationship still available but with new parameters? Restoration or reconcilliation?

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  41. Mumsee, sin actually is still there until it is forgiven–ultimately forgiven by Christ. If I don’t repent for my sin, is it removed because someone else forgives me? I’m trying to work through all of it myself, and I don’t have all the answers here. And all of this is “personal” enough to me that I have gone to sleep after 3:00 am. more often than before 3:00 a.m. in the last two weeks.

    Let’s say that someone who has insulted me and my husband multiple times over the last three years decides to call me one day and pretend that nothing is wrong. If I have forgiven her, what do I do? It seems to me that if I have forgiven her, it is over, and if she were to say, “Hey, Cheryl, I wanted to apologize for . . . ” I should be saying, “Nonsense, that has already been forgiven. You have nothing for which to apologize.” But that response would actually be wrong.

    What do I do if I have chosen to overlook the offense? As it actually stands, I am seeking to overlook the offense and still love her. (For example, I prayed for her earnestly several times last evening and during the night–and I wasn’t just praying for reconciliation but for her good in various aspects of life.) I am willing to explain to others what I see as possible extenuating circumstances for some of her choices. I am willing to see her in the best possible light, and if she were to choose to call me (which she hasn’t done for about two years at this point), I would accept her phone call and talk graciously with her. But if she were to say, “Hey, I was just wondering if you think things are OK between us at this point,” I’d have to say, “No, I don’t” and would explain why. It actually took me a long, long time to get there, because I was doing everything I could to see her as not being “responsible” for her words. “Overlooking” offenses doesn’t mean pretending things are all right between us–they aren’t. But it means loving in a 1 Corinthians 13 way, and wanting what is best for the other person even if she never does choose repentance and reconciliation. I think it’s being realistic about sin. It’s saying, “I am a broken, sinful woman, and Christ has extended me grace. I can do the same for another mortal.” It’s saying I want renewed fellowship even though right now it isn’t possible (she has made that choice, I haven’t) and it may not ever be possible–I can still see her as my sister in Christ and still look forward to the day, in this life or the next, that we will be unified.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. this site just came up so quickly that I think our internet might be back on! That would be wonderful.
    I should try to order something to be delivered over here. It would be fun to watch it find its way around the world.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Janice – What I meant (if I understand your question correctly) is that some relationships will not be reconciled nor restored for various reasons, but the offended or hurt person can still forgive or pardon (as the writer puts it). Examples would be a woman and the man who had sexually abused her as a child, or the offending person has died, or a drug-addicted child still cannot be trusted. Situations like that.

    Or did I misunderstand what you were asking? 🙂

    Like

  44. Standing there before the former S.S. man, Corrie remembered that forgiveness is an act of the will — not an emotion. “Jesus, help me!” she prayed. “I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.”

    Corrie thrust out her hand.

    And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

    “I forgive you, brother!” I cried. “With all my heart.”

    For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then. But even so, I realized it was not my love. I had tried, and did not have the power. It was the power of the Holy Spirit.

    “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Cheryl, so what exactly is person to person forgiveness? We do require forgiveness from God of course but He has told us to forgive one another. So, what does it mean to forgive? I think it is a healing of ourselves and a healing of relationship if the other is participating. But if not, it is healing ourselves, lifting the burden to the Cross. He can deal with the heart of the other person, we cannot.

    Second paragraph: you could be saying, “thank you for the apology, I appreciate you understanding. It did hurt but I forgave you long ago, let’s move forward.”

    Third paragraph: I believe you are still in mourning over your relationship with your sister. It hurts. You cannot fix her, you can pray for her. You can remove her ability to continue to hurt you. I know this as I have had to do it with a child or two. Thinking about the relationship, to the detriment of your sleep etc, is allowing her to continue to hurt you. Every time you think about her, ask God to turn your thoughts to Him. You can pray for her. But you need to realize (I know you know it but don’t quite accept that it is real) she is not ready and, as you said, may not ever be until later. That is hurting her and her children. Do not let it hurt you and your husband. And yes, if she asks, tell her. But do it succinctly. You do not need to cover every aspect. If you have overlooked it, let it go. If you have forgiven, it is gone but it is not like it never happened so you can acknowledge it. But then move on.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Mumsee, I am grieving over the loss of my sister, and she has emailed my husband twice this past week, which has affected the sleep of both of us. I am mostly “at peace” about it, but grief comes in waves. And I’m a lifelong insomniac at a stage of life when insomnia is worse; it isn’t staightforward.

    Are we commanded to “forgive” those who have not asked for forgiveness? That is what the theological question is. Yes, we are commanded to forgive–but is the command just “in general” or to forgive the repentant? The Prodigal Son’s father stood ready to forgive–but the actual forgiveness and reconciliation seems to have come with repentance. I know for myself that I can be at peace with those who have sinned against me but never asked for forgiveness, but there is something about a person asking for forgiveness that just “washes” the scene in a whole new way.

    I don’t really have a final answer to the “forgive even if a person has never repented?” question, but too much has been written about it by too many people to think it’s simply an irrelevant and foolish question. Perhaps what we need is to be ready and willing to forgive. But forgiveness itself (in its proper order) comes after repentance and not before. But again I don’t really know on any of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. I just read an interesting article on covid saying that they are finding the highest correlation to death from covid to be obesity. The largest rate of deaths are in the countries with the most obese populations, UK, Italy, USA.

    I guess it really was a nudge from the Lord when I felt I needed to use the shutdown time to lose weight and to get stronger.

    And then I even inspired Mumsee!

    Liked by 1 person

  48. When my husband left I got a phone call from one of the elders of my church. An older and very wise man. He told me that we are commanded to forgive and used the example of Christ on the cross.

    The same day I got a phone call from the pastors wife talking about the difference between forgiveness and trust. Trust has to be earned.

    Liked by 4 people

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