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Christians: Forgive and forget

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Aqualung, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Now, I've had plenty of conversations with people about forgiveness. They've often said things like, "You can forgive them, but that doesn't mean you'll let them do it again." In other words, you "forgive" them but still treat them differently. But how is that forgiveness? The Lord makes it clear that when he forgives us, he remembers our sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12) How is it right that when we forgive others we have this authority to still remember their sins? Have we really forgiven them if we still treat them like sinners?
     
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  2. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    I don't really forgive people, depending on what they did... Like that jerk who drowned my cat... I'm not forgiving him. He doesn't deserve me to. His house flooded. :D
     
  3. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Your religion is stated as nihilist, yet you're posting in a Christian only same-faith-debate.
     
  4. whereismynotecard

    whereismynotecard Treasure Hunter

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    :( I never look at which forum the topics are under... I didn't know. :(
     
  5. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    God doesn't really forget. He's omniscient, so how could he, really? What those passages mean is that he doesn't hold those sins against us, and those sins are no longer a barrier to communion with God. Thus with God, forgiveness is a means to reconciliation. And so it is with us. When I forgive an evil done to me, I'm not saying the act is okay or that the person isn't actually responsible. Rather, I take the attitude that the sin at issue won't be a barrier to continued communion or fellowship with that person.

    In other words, forgiveness isn't a matter of forgetting. Rather, it's remembering the sin in such a way that fellowship can be restored.

    Currently, I hold that forgiveness is the correct response to the other's genuine repentance, which would have to be demonstrated by acts of contrition. When a person sincerely apologizes and performs such acts, I'm duty bound to forgive. That forgiveness should ultimately result in reconciliation. (I recognize that particular sins such as spousal or child abuse, rape, etc., full reconciliation may not be morally possible this side of eternity.)
     
  6. Charity

    Charity Let's go racing boys !

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    The Bible states in Mark 11 how God views forgiving:

    Mark 11: 26
    But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

    This leaves me to believe that it is imperative that we forgive. I am sure it is probably one of the hardest things to do when someone has wronged you. But through prayer and obedience to Gods word we can forgive.
     
  7. Charity

    Charity Let's go racing boys !

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    I think the bible says that God puts our sins in the sea of forgetfulness to be remembered no more. If we don't forgive would that not be a sin?
     
  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I believe He forgets, but I don't see that as an inadequacy on His part. He forgets because, unlike us, He has the ability to do so. I see it as an admirable trait, not as a flaw.

    How do you feel about the unrepentent person? What do you believe our attitude should be towards him? Maybe it's just LDS doctrine, but we're taught that we are required to forgive everyone who has trespassed against us, but that God will forgive whom He chooses to forgive. I personally don't have a hard time at all forgiving someone who is truly sorry for what he has done, but I have a real struggle forgiving the person who has no remorse.
     
  9. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    I think it would. It's something that concerns me quite a bit.
     
  10. Charity

    Charity Let's go racing boys !

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    Hello there pretty Katz good to have you on here.....
    I think God forgets and forgives us, why would he tell us we have to forgive if He doesnt' do it? I try to remember to pray for people that have hurt me just so I can feel free, you know like if you hang on to bitterness it will eat you alive.
     
  11. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    It's ok, that's why I reminded you. :)
     
  12. Rolling_Stone

    Rolling_Stone Well-Known Member

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    Of what purpose and good is forgiveness if the offender does not repent?
     
  13. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    So he was lying?

    Forget, as the opposite of remember, can just mean that he never calls them into his consciousness or that he acts like they never happened. He won't count them against us. And yet, if we live by the principle of "won't let them do it again", we're treating them differently. If we repent of our sins, God gives us another chance. He even gives us another chance up the point of allowing us to go into the same situations. I don't know how many times I've sinned again after repenting because I found myself in the original position again. And yet, when God forgives, it even includes "letting us do it again". Shouldn't our forgiveness strive to the same level as God's?

    Does it count as "holding sin against us" if we always treat the people around us as sinners? By not allowing them to do it again, we are acknowledging their sin and changing the way we treat them because of it. That's holding it against them. They might truly have changed, and might want to show us that they've changed, but we will never let them, and will continue to treat them as sinners. That's not the type of forgiveness God exhibits.
     
  14. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    We are supposed to forgive those who ask us forgiveness, but it is good for a person's own soul to forgive those even if they haven't asked. When you don't forgive someone, you are punishing yourself as well as the other person and sometimes the other person isn't feeling anything at all (in other words, he doesn't have anything to do with you anyway and someone not forgiving doesn't mean anything.)
     
  15. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    The question isn't whether or not we need to forgive - I'm sure most Christians will agree that it is important. The question is what forgiveness actually entails. Can we forgive and NOT forget?
     
  16. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    And honestly, if God were not to forget our sins would that be true forgiveness? I don't think it would.
     
  17. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    Same faith debate.
     
  18. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    So then forgiveness necessarily entails forgetting?
     
  19. ChristineES

    ChristineES Tiggerism
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    Yes, but I would guess it is lot easier for God to forget than us. ;)
     
  20. Dunemeister

    Dunemeister Well-Known Member

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    I didn't characterize it as some sort of defect in God. Rather, God is omniscient. He knows everything. He can't really forget. Talk of God forgetting we must take as hyperbole. As I said before, God remembers the sin but he doesn't hold it against us.

    No, it's Christian doctrine, too. However, for the ultimate goal of forgiveness -- reconciliation -- to be achieved, the sinner must repent. Thus I might forgive someone who abused me, but I can't reconcile with him unless he repents.

    And as for difficulties I find it most difficult, not to forgive, where I can take the high moral ground, but to accept another's forgiveness, for that implies I've done wrong. And that grates against my natural tendency to think I'm a pretty decent sort of fellow. It's much harder to accept forgiveness than to offer it, I think.
     
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