Well, nothing is final, really. But for now, this will be the last in this series.
Forgiveness is a layered, complicated subject because it is so closely enmeshed with our beliefs from childhood, with what we saw modeled (or not) as we were growing up. Some people apologize very easily and receive forgiveness with grace. Others of us find it difficult to acknowledge when we have been complete jerks, and difficult to either accept or offer complete forgiveness. There is so much pride interwoven into the whole process.
Someone asked about what to do when you don’t really want to confront the offender, or if you feel certain that person will not respond well. It seems I may have already addressed this, but maybe not.
Luke 17:3-4 does teach us to “rebuke” the offender, and I believe that when we can, we should. Sometimes the person has died, and it is no longer possible to confront him to his face. That is when the forgiveness is between you and God, and that settles it. When you are afraid, or reluctant, to face your offender because you are sure he won’t care, there is still the necessity to do so, and if he surprises you and repents, then forgiveness is given.
But what if he doesn’t? Well, we spent a lot of time on this one, and I even got a good discussion going on my Facebook page. There is also a very good article here that I think answers that question very well. For me, the bottom line here is being right with God. Holding offence in your heart, refusing to forgive when the offender has not repented, is like the old analogy of drinking poison in hopes that the other person will be harmed by your doing so. Not much sense in that.
If you have further questions or comments, I will be glad to address them as such. Just please keep in mind that I will not publish comments that are abusive, divisive, unkind, or that use foul language. I try to keep things civil here on my blog.
Thank you for the input you have given on this topic. I love your participation.