Forgiveness: Never One-sided

I hear so many quotes in regards to forgiveness, how we should forgive simply for our own sake. To forgive is to pretend we “let go” of the hurt and dismiss ourselves from the other persons life for good. To forgive is to keep it moving in our own lives and let the person who has hurt us continue to cause harm in their way of being. Is it bad for me to believe that truly forgiving someone is to make sure the other party is healed as well? To make it our mission to seal that wound in BOTH our lives? It’s easy to say “I forgive you” but can we truly forget. It’s hard to forget if the common act of forgiveness is one-sided; not putting any thought into what the other person might be feeling. That leaves room for open ended tough circumstances. I forgive you, BUT I wish you knew how you made me feel. I forgive you BUT I wish we could work on our differences together. I forgive you BUT this would really be effective if you…well…forgive me too.  I’m sorry; I don’t believe that forgiving someone internally-solo is 100% effective to continue living an authentic Christian life.

Now, I understand the many circumstances behind forgiving someone without an attempt to heal the wounds of both parties. For example, if the other person passed away. We can’t take anymore steps to heal any open wounds. One-sided Internal forgiveness is acceptable at this point. I also understand if the other person is extremely stubborn and has proven in many ways how they want you to stay away from them. To me, One-sided internal forgiveness is acceptable. I’d say that prayer should not seize in that circumstance. It’s NOT acceptable when efforts CAN be made to settle any differences without harm. Here is a simple scenario.

Bob and Meg are close friends

Bob took Meg’s hard earned cookie.

Meg caught Bob eating the cookie.

Meg gets upset and tells bob to leave.

Bob is sorry and asks for forgiveness

Meg accepts it bitterly and never speaks to Bob again.

Then Meg says “I did my part, I forgave him and that’s all I had to do”

Do you think Meg did her job as a Christian in this situation?

In my opinion, Meg’s act of forgiveness was very selfish. Why? Well, what happened to Bob? Did she have concern for Bob’s feelings? I mean, why should she? He took her cookie. Right?

How about Bob? He already tried to solve their differences by apologizing. Do you think that his job is done? I don’t. I think he should take other steps to make her feel better.

If we as Christians are trying to make a difference in this world, we need to take an extra step forgiving others & being forgiven. We claim to be healers and role models but what are we doing if our act of forgiveness is incomplete. What are we doing if our efforts of being forgiven are small?

Matthew 5:23-24

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Jesus doesn’t say to forgive or ask for forgiveness and bounce forever. He tells us to be reconciled with the people that we have issues with. Its oh so simple.

I wonder who came up with “I forgave her, I did my part”? I have a hard time believing that this phrase is biblical.

Look, we have a choice. If we want to be like Christ, we have to take scripture word for word. Its not Christ like to claim you have forgiven someone and when you see that person, your blood boils.

Its not Christ like to claim you apologized for sinning against your friend and leaving the wounds open. Where did you go wrong? Why did you do it? What efforts will you make to fix it?

So GO! Be reconciled with your friends/family and THEN go to church and sing, dance, praise, and give your offering. #blackandwhite

IG: @authkg

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