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By Mike Edwards

Many Christians assume the Bible teaches we must forgive without any expectations. The Bible can also be used to claim repentance is required. God does not forgive the rebellious (Josh. 24:19); “… if they repent forgive them” (Lk. 17:3). The Bible wasn’t meant to be a rules book to advise what every individual should do in their circumstances. “Turn the other cheek” is not meant for a domestic victim. One is free to forgive without expectations, but you have come to the right blog if a victim and you think certain expectations are important before forgiving a person.

Doesn’t God expect genuine forgiveness before getting into Heaven?

Many defend that the Bible claims you must always forgive no matter the circumstances. But those who defend easy forgiveness would not agree God forgives without acknowledging any wrongdoing. They would suggest you can’t enter Heaven without seeking forgiveness from God. The assumption is God expects and can discern if you are being genuine in repenting. Maybe even God has certain conditions or expectations if seeking forgiveness. Aren’t we supposed to imitate God?

I am suspicious of those that “just want to move on” 

A bully or abuser who doesn’t acknowledge their behaviors and just wants to move on is suspect. I have hurt others to know how I should go about asking for forgiveness. It isn’t about my feelings but the victim’s feelings. I don’t know why some guilty folks focus on their expectations and not their victim’s. The guilty obviously know they have done something wrong if asking for forgiveness. Those refusing to wrestle with expectations communicated by victims don’t acknowledge the seriousness of their actions. The innocent decides next steps and if a future relationship is possible.

Wrongdoing must be recognized 

If one is not held accountable for their wrongdoing, might they just do it again? Quick or easy forgiveness can allow a husband’s abusive behavior to continue. When a sexual abuser doesn’t openly acknowledge their actions, will they continue to abuse others? The guilty need to stop with excuses or blaming others. Those with the same upbringing or circumstances don’t always mistreat others. The guilty must take responsibility and accept steps a victim wants taken next. 

Restitution isn’t always possible 

Bad memories can’t be erased; positive memories robbed by the guilty can’t be restored. This is why certain relationships cannot always continue.  Those that have hurt others are not in a position to insist on a future relationship. When restitution is possible, discussions are necessary unless the guilty aren’t really sorry. 

To forgive or not!

In my mind forgiveness isn’t really a discussion until the guilty acknowledge they need forgiveness. But for some forgiving despite lack of remorse can control bitterness. For others to forgive despite lack of remorse can cause feelings of further victimization and bitterness. We must stop guilting victims, according to the Bible, to forgive their violator no matter what. Those hurt must seek the mind of God what actions in relationship difficulties lead to your best interest in the long run in a world full of disappointments. You may discover God is emphatic!

Should We Forgive Others Without Expectations?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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By Mike Edwards

I am not going to attempt to answer this question with Bible verses. Most would agree the Bible says to forgive. To one’s surprise the Bible can also be interpreted to suggest forgiveness requires regret. It isn’t too presumptuous to imagine what a loving God is like through our moral intuitions, our consciences. We aren’t always certain how to best love, but most sense that we or a Creator ought to love others as we want to be loved.

Why it matters whether to tell others to forgive or not

Victims can feel more victimized, and feel God must not understand their pain, when told to forgive their abuser no matter what. What is there to forgive when one denies wrongdoing? Easy forgiveness can allow a husband’s abusive behavior to continue. When a sexual abuser doesn’t acknowledge their actions, secret behaviors continue. Isn’t the whole point to do whatever helps control bitterness and stop more victimization, though forgiveness doesn’t wash away memories.

The Bible surprisingly says to not forgive sometimes

One may be surprised to see the Bible can also be read to suggest forgiveness requires regret thus admission. The implication is we don’t necessarily have to forgive those who lie about their actions. God is said to forgive if we forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15). Forgive if they repent (Lk. 17:3). God in the OT is often said to not forgive the rebellious (i.e. Josh. 24:19). It’s hard to defend a loving Creator would ask us to do something God doesn’t – forgive the unrepentant.

The Bible isn’t a question-and-answer Book

My point is not to insist one should or shouldn’t forgive in their circumstances. Usually, there are different opinions on meaning and application of the same passage. The Bible was never meant to be a rules book but for reflection in one’s circumstances. “Turning the other cheek” doesn’t mean a women should accept abuse at the hands of her husband. The Bible is valuable because it suggests not always handling certain circumstances naturally, humanly-speaking. Bitterness or revenge can worsen a victim’s circumstances.

But Jesus said to turn the other cheek (Mt. 5:39)

Some scholars suggest Jesus advising to “turn the other cheek” (Mt 5:39) was illustrating how to respond to insults, not that we can never respond to violence against us or others. Other scholars have suggested a possible literal translation of Mt. 5:39 is “do not resist by evil means.” This doesn’t mean nations can’t defend against evil dictators. Jesus often used hyperbole for emphasis without stating exceptions. It seems best to neither seek vengeance nor to ignore possible justice. If one is truly sorry, shouldn’t they readily admit their guilt?

When do we forgive?

For some forgiving can cause feelings of further victimization and bitterness; for others forgiving can control bitterness and possible acts of revenge. Many may be haunted with thoughts whether they must forgive their violator at the urging of others. We are free to make the wisest choice we know without being guilted by others about God. God may not be as non-empathetic as thought. Consider forgiveness if one admits guilt and seeks to make amends. Whether a future relationship is possible depends. Seek the mind of God what actions in relationship difficulties lead to your best interest in the long-run in a world full of disappointments.

What Does God Think About Forgiving The Guilty Who Deny Wrongdoing?

MikeEdwardsprofilepic125

Mike Edwards has been writing for Done with Religion for some time and has been a great addition to the site. Mike also has his own site where he writes that can be found at What God May Really Be Like  He can be contacted by email at: medwar2@gmail.com

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Roman 6:10 – For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God….

Most of us ask for forgiveness at least once a day. Is it really necessary?

When Christ died, He died to sin ONCE for all. Jesus doesn’t die daily, He doesn’t need to come back and die once a year for our sins. Jesus died once and it was for our sins past, present and future. In God’s eyes, we are now righteous and seated in heavenly places with Christ.

Unfortunately we will continue to sin, but we don’t need to continually ask for forgiveness because we are already forgiven. What we should do is tell God we are sorry that we messed up and thank Him for the forgiveness He provided us through Christ.

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