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Forgiveness Post #1 March 22, 2007

Posted by amberpeace in Uncategorized.

The topic that I’m writing on is nothing close to short. I’m going to be breaking it up quite a bit.

There is a belief called Perseverance of the Saints. If you’re familiar with TULIP, you know that. If you’re not, you probably know it by “Once saved, always saved.” The premise is that once in the grace and salvation of God, you cannot fall out of it. To understand any of the following posts, you should know that I don’t fall into that camp. Amber is not a Calvinist.

Forgiveness: It’s personal

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, do not resist and evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be Children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins

For the past week my Christ and Culture class has been focusing on Forgiveness and Reconciliation. I have also had the good fortune (?) to have all these conversations about the topics outside of that class. It seems that my entire week has been focused on these important topics.
Forgiveness is not a feeling. Forgiveness is not easy, but the Scriptures make it painfully clear that is essential for salvation. Not only our forgiveness, but us forgiving others. We are agents of God’s grace and how can we accept our own forgiveness when we are refusing to give it to others?

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart

It seems that on the one thing we want Jesus to be fuzzy on, he is painfully clear” – Dr Kenneson.

The servant was forgiven in the beginning, but he did not continue to act in the forgiveness. It was taken away from him. The servant knew the mercy, grace, and will of his lord, but when it came time to act as his master acted, he blatantly did wrong.

Forgiveness is not the passive ignoring a wrongdoing to one’s self. Forgiveness is the active removal of barriers in a relationship. It is saying “this relationship will no longer be defined by this sin.” Jesus calls the follower to forgive, in all circumstances continuously. There is never a limit on how many times we are to act in forgiveness. In fact, if we do not forgive, if we are not agents of forgiveness, we are not forgiven.
For the past week I have been staring at this topic in class as well as in life. I have harbored a grudge and a pain for two years. As this week progressed I cam to the realization that I was outright in sin. I was obviously doing something wrong. I was not acting in grace and forgiveness. It finally came down to Tuesday and our adoration service: time to take Eucharist. By this point I realized I could no longer rationalize my decisions. If I stepped into the service, I was stepping in with willful sin on me. I was not forgiving and my Father was no longer forgiving me. To be able to take the Flesh and Blood, I had to take direct actions of forgiveness towards a person. I didn’t want to. I actually cried and fought it. In the end though I knew that there really was no choice.
Forgiveness is not a feeling. Each day I will have to make the decision to forgive the person. I will have to make that consciencely, or I am in danger of treating that person in an unforgiving way.
Always we must forgive. There are no limits. We are to never not forgive and we are to always more towards reconciliation. Jesus also lays out how forgiveness looks. One cannot say “I forgive” but then treat that person in any way but what Jesus lays out above. Like my professor said, Jesus seems to be painfully clear on this issue.



1. acwo - March 23, 2007

I like your blog very much 🙂
keep it up!

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