Is Forgiveness Overrated?

by leavingwt 195 Replies latest jw friends

  • tec


    Undercover said:

    But - if that person apologized, blah, blah, blah, but yet stole again and again, you can't forget that. You know that they can't be trusted therefore you protect yourself from them and their habits. You haven't forgotten and by not forgetting and taking steps to protect yourself, you haven't forgiven them. You can't forgive them...they've proved themselves unworthy of forgiveness.

    Then I said:

    I think in a case like this, you can forgive the nature of the person (which is more of an acceptance of who they are without wishing them ill, and in fact still wishing them good in their life and moving on), without necessarily putting yourself into known and continued harm.

    This is what I meant:

    Take the thief in Undercover's example. He is a thief. He steals constantly. He apologizes, he is sorry, but yet he continues to steal. I've forgiven him, tried to help him by trusting him again, but he always reverts back to stealing. Now I don't know what's wrong or broken within him, that makes him continue to steal. So I accept that part of him, knowing I can't change it (that he seems unable to change it as well), loving him anyway (if indeed this is someone that you have loved). That is what I would want someone to do for me.

    Doesn't mean I have to trust him, because he has proven to me that he cannot be trusted. Just means I still love him despite this part of his nature.


  • nugget

    Are we not taught as JWs that Jehovah has the potential to forgive everyone. The fact that we are also taught he will destroy many at Armageddon must indicate that he does not choose to forgive all people.

    I personally believe it is helpful not to forgive everyone sometimes they are not worthy of the attention nor do they want it. If we don't forgive and forget attrocities then we are less likely to condone them in future.

  • myelaine

    dear Terry...

    yes...God would forget the sin of the creature if they were covered with the blood of His Son because God the Father wouldn't see the sins when the creature goes to that side of the veil...Would God the Son forget?...He even told His own...keep remembering the flesh, keep remembering the blood...keep remembering what I've done for you and why.

    Can humans forget completely harm others have they can forgive...they do not go hand in hand this side of the veil.

    love michelle

  • AGuest

    Love... does not keep account of the injury, dear ones (may you all have peace!). Thus, love... forgives as well as forgets. This is what I have meant over the years when I said I thought I knew love... and learned that I really didn't. Just a form of it.

    Again, neither is easy (forgiving OR forgetting) but both can be done. How do I know? Because parents do itall the time. Not all, true, but many if not most.

    As the Father of Christ, who is the "father" of his Body (due to begetting them by means of holy spirit)... the Most Holy One of Israel and Holy One of Israel literally forget. That is why those in union with have NO condemnation. Their sins are not remembered... because they have been blotted out... by the blood of Christ... due to his love and the love shown by the Father giving him TO blot them out.

    May you all have peace!

    A slave of Christ,


  • CandleLight

    It is impossible to understand love, without knowing forgiveness.


  • journey-on

    Good analogy, Terry, at first glance. There is a difference in crime and sin/trespass obviously.
    Really, how so?

    Thinking about having sex with a child....sin

    Molesting a child.....crime

    Lusting after someone else's wife....sin

    Raping her....crime

    You can forgive the sin, but I don't believe you can ever forget the crime. And are we expected to? Some seem to be twisting scripture to make it sound like we CAN forget all of it. I don't think so. And I don't believe that is what we are supposed to do.

    True love and compassion is not imbalanced and misplaced. If there is too much severity, cruelty and oppression results. If there is too much mercy creating an imbalance, there is weakness that allows and indeed facilitates great evil. Neither one is real love and only out of real love is forgiveness found.

  • journey-on

    One more thought. Y'eshua instructed those he healed (forgave) to "go and sin no more." If it doesn't/didn't matter....if forgiveness should be constant and continuous... then there would have been no need to tell them to stop sinning (unless, of course, these accounts are inaccurate.) What has been given me to understand is that one should always be open to forgiveness (70 x7), but there are limits and boundaries and at some point, those limits and boundaries are met!

  • tec

    I think Christ said that forgiveness should be given each time it is asked for. No matter how many times the person has sinned against you. Hence his whole up to 77 times instruction with Peter.

    In light of that, it makes my post above about not trusting someone who has proven untrustworthy too harsh. Because I also agree that forgiving means forgetting. Perhaps we can't erase our memories, but we can put it behind us, and never bring it up to throw in that person's face again. Difficult, yes, because it means we're putting ourselves out there to be hurt.

    Now a crime becomes something else, and I'm not sure about the answer. Such as child molestation. I am not going to leave my children in the presence of a child molester - repentant or not - because my children depend on me for their safety. But I could forgive that person for a crime against me, even without apology, if it meant releasing myself from the bonds of anger - and if they did admit/repent/apologize, I could grant them that release as well, at least in terms of myself.

    But I would still not allow that person to be around my children. So I don't know what exactly to make of that yet.


  • journey-on
    But I would still not allow that person to be around my children.

    There you have it, tec. You cannot in the fullest sense of the word "forget". It would be unwise, if not downright stupid! Our Lord would not expect you to forget that act. If you did forget it to the extent described in someone's post above, you would not hesitate to leave your child in his/her care.

  • Found Sheep
    Found Sheep

    Forgiveness! Something I strugle with. I'm great at the small stuff. I don't do cat fights over stupid things. The big things I'm not so go at. I do think it is letting go of the anger, but how? I don't want to hurt anyone, well some people deserve pain. I aways do better when I have a reason why someone did something hurtful. The JW"s i can forgive after understanding cult mind control. How do you let go of crimes done against you that destroyed part of my inner soul? I don't know how to do that.

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