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Forgiveness is (not always) Divine

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posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 01:37 PM
From my experience and research:

1. God does not forgive the unrepentant and niether should we.

2. You are under no obligation to forgive people who have damaged you unless they are truly repentant.

3. People who have hurt us must show a change of heart, offer restitution, and must ask for our forgiveness before we enter into the process of forgiving them.

4. True repentance will be accompanied by a peace offering or restitution for the damage caused. The greater the damage caused, the greater the restitution offered. Example: if a person robs you, they should restore what they have taken from you. If they cannot afford to restore what they taken from you, they should offer themselves as your servant until the debt and/or damage is paid in full.

5. You do not have to accept an offer of restitution if your conscience convinces you that the person is truley repentant. If you are convinced they are truely repentant you can extend grace and forgive them without accepting restitution.

6. Even when all the conditions are met, forgiveness does not mean you have to carry on a friendship with the person who hurt you, especially in cases of sexual abuse. Let the Spirit guide you.

[edit on 6/7/09 by John Matrix]

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by tribewilder

sorry bud, I think thats a cop out.
You don't need religion to see that there is good and bad in this world.
To say, "it just is" is a silly way to make you feel better about things.

From my experience thus far in life, I can tell you Karma is friggin real, and when I do something "bad" it usually comes back to bite me. On the other hand, when I am in those moments where I need to choose good or bad and its really hard to choose good, but I do, it ALWAYS pays off.

If what those women experienced was not bad then they wouldn't be emotionally tormented the way they are.


To the OP:

I feel very sorry for those women. I can only imagine what thats like, to feel completely helpless...
I also want to remark on the whole "damnation" thing...

My assumption is that this was a Christian seminar?
Am I right?

Why in the world do these ladies believe in a religion that would damn them to hell for doing nothing wrong?
That speaks so loudly of the faith.

And what kind of minister would tell someone that if they don't forgive someone they are damning themselves to hell??? I'm sorry, isnt that judgement reserved only for God?

Remember when Jesus threw that fit in the temple and started turning over chairs etc?
I think thats what needs to be done with the church today...

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:15 PM
"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."
- Matthew 6:14-15

"Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."
- Luke 17:3-4

That is why I forgive. Not because it is written and I am a blind follower, but because I see the absolute wisdom in those words, which is why they were written.

To me, forgiveness can only be given if you feel that you personally have been violated. I don't see how you can forgive someone for something they did against someone else, unless you were indirectly affected and you are forgiving that indirect affect on you.

To forgive is, as you said, not to forget, but to acknowledge and let go. You have to fully take into account the offense that was committed, and release yourself of the burden of anger and animosity, which is a burden on the accused in its own right.

Forgiveness is also about countering and eliminating hypocrisy. How many of us can say that we have not committed offenses against others? How then can we, in asking for forgiveness for our offenses, not be willing to give what we ask for? We also seem to always want an even transaction - to say, 'if I forgive someone for stealing a dollar from me, I will then be forgiven if I also steal a dollar.' How about if we steal nothing yet forgive the one who steals nearly everything from us? In such a case we see the true essence of forgiveness.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:35 PM
I honestly believe that my forgiveness problem is in not being able to forgive myself for my imperfections, my weaknesses... like my inability to handle the stress in my daily life... my inability to keep my home as clean and orderly as I'd like it to be (with 2 small children running around constantly)... my constant failure to be positive, to accept myself, to respect and love myself.

Maybe that's a little selfish... but I feel like if I could do those things, I might be able to forgive others, accept-appreciate-love others. I really do want to.

I know exactly what I ought to be thinking and feeling within myself, I can give others advice and encouragement to think positively (what a hypocrite I am), but I'm just not strong enough to keep that all in mind myself, now that I have real responsibilities. Oh how "enlightened" I thought I was at 19, when I had nothing to worry about.

Everytime I fail to be positive (umpteen million times a day), my disappointment in myself just keeps building up, adding more that I will someday have to forgive myself for before I can bring myself to forgive others.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by walman

Thank you for your post. I wish to note the words "If he repents" in the second NT verse you quoted above.

Repentance is the prerequisite for forgiveness. Letting go is part of the process of forgiving.

However, in the abscence of repentance (where one is not required to forgive) one can still let go or release the burden, pain, emotion, trauma, and even the person that harmed them by placing it in God's hands. Letting go is a process as well. Forgiveness and letting go are acts of faith.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:42 PM

Originally posted by eMachine
Everytime I fail to be positive (umpteen million times a day), my disappointment in myself just keeps building up, adding more that I will someday have to forgive myself for before I can bring myself to forgive others.

Every man that found favor in God's eyes had flaws. Be encoraged, you are not alone.

[edit on 6/7/09 by John Matrix]

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:45 PM
Forgivness is logical.

If you do not understand why forgiveness is logical.. then anything that you currently know of love is flawed.

What makes your life and the life of the one who abused you differnt? What happened in your abusers life that caused them to take these actions?

Without this knowledge there is no way forward.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 02:47 PM
If someone has hurt you then forgiving them is a gift that you give to yourself.

Because once you have forgiven them you must move on. Not forgiving them means that the anger and ill feeling you carry will continue to haunt you.

That doesn't mean forgiveness is easy, it isn't but if you do want to forgive imagine the freedom it will allow you (not them, they will after all need to forgive themselves). So think about the life you want to lead and be kind to yourself, because the person that forgiveness will help the most, .. is you!

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 03:11 PM
I think forgiving is one of the most powerful things you can learn to do but it's more complicated than it seems. I've had many people in my life that I had to learn to forgive and I've found it does take some time and effort but it's what finally frees you from the whole situation.

The reason we must forgive others is so that we, personally, can move on with our lives without being constantly haunted and tortured by it.

Just because I've forgiven someone doesn't mean I'm not bothered by what they did to me or that I don't still count it against them trust wise in certain instances. It just means that I'm done with thinking about it every hour, I'm done with torturing myself over it and I'm past the negative emotions I get from thinking about it.

I think it's physically impossible to not be bothered by something traumatic even decades later but it is possible to move on with one's life and take all the negative crap and just give it up, refuse to let it have power over you.

Forgiving someone is what finally frees us of the burden of living with whatever happened.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 03:50 PM
I only REALLY forgive when I dont really give a crap.

If I do CARE and it was a terrible act I wont forgive.

Hey don't judge me I'm only human and speaking the truth for myself.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:14 PM
reply to post by Hemisphere

Thank you for your in-depth assessment. This reminds me of what another poster alluded to, when he talked about "internal and external" forgiveness.

The example of shaking hands with the bully at school, and then leaving the principal's a "forced" external forgiveness,
adhering to the societal demands of being able to get along with others. And again is encouraged for the "betterment of the group".

But it is those private, personal scars, both physical and emotional, that can and do ruin lives. Those people are in a tailspin with resentment and rage. The ones who do find their way to forgiveness, seem to fare better.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:28 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

haha, I am that other poster. A lost poster that wanders the grounds of ATS in search of the understanding of the mind. No, but seriously, the understanding of the mind is a difficult process that many scientist view it as a pseudo science and a straw man. They saw that with different variables in each person it is impossible to pin down what the person believes and thinks. Yet with the understanding and breaking down of sources like External and Internal it gives us an advantage that science does not want to reach for, yet.

Forgiveness is something that is not measurable person to person. But we can measure the thought of forgiveness, by external and internal. That way we have an idea and maybe can pin point where it originates or perhaps it is not originating in any hemisphere of the brain, but is hardwired in our mind. I thought this would be interesting to add.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:32 PM
I see a recurring theme of "if you don't forgive you are doomed to hell" Which is sad partly because it makes these people who have not forgiven feel even worse and partly because it is absolutely true. I can't say one way or the other on a physical or spiritual hell. But to continue to harbor the bad feelings and thoughts that you have against another person does put you in an emotional hell.

I also understand wishing to see someone punished for what they have done. And I believe it is entirely possible to forgive someone while still wishing to see them punished. As long as you aren't wishing for them to suffer for what they have done but instead are wishing for them to learn that what they have done is considered wrong, or to remove them from society so that they can not hurt others.

A pedophile can say that they are sorry and truly mean it. We can forgive them and truly mean it. Still; as a society, can we risk allowing that person free reign? No, we must punish them and monitor them for the safety of others.

Forgive but not forget. Another common stated belief. I must agree. Sometimes I think that is the curse of mankind. God says that he forgives and remembers no more... alas that can never be true of us.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:35 PM
reply to post by Odessy

I know! Actually, it is not a religious based organization. It is a mental health center. The women generally go to different churches. One woman had engaged in private counseling with her minister, and he told her clearly she would have to forgive her abuser. The others, I believe, came to this understanding on their own through reading the Bible.

In NONE of the cases of these women, has the abuser sought forgiveness. One, who was being led out of the courtroom following his trial, turned to her and said "I'm sorry if I hurt you". Of course, all she heard was the word "if".

But yes, the abuse to these women was very severe. Some have external scarring, and others have developed dissociative disorder, and multiple personality disorder (rare, I know, but two of them have it), and of course they all have depression, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress. Also two in the group are diagnosed with explosive personality disorder, and go into rages. So, it's quite an aftermath of childhood abuse.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:38 PM
Learning to forgive is a long journey into understanding and humility.

None of us know the details of another person's journey through life. None of us can be sure that we would be any better than the most unforgivable monster we can think of, if we had been born into that person's body, and had exactly that person's experiences.

If someone does something utterly unforgivable, like raping and killing a baby, how are we to judge them? Surely the fact that a normal person could nt do such a thing is proof that a person who does do such awful things is too sick to be judged?

I'm not saying bad things should not be punished. Both individuals and society have to take reasonable measures to prevent people from inflicting further harm. But carrying hatred in your heart is a burden that gets increasingly heavy over time, and hurts oneself, not the perpetrator.

Sometimes I pray that hell is real, so the people I've not forgiven yet will suffer forever. But the god I have known is a god of understanding and love, who sees beyond the worst atrocities a person can be capable of and still loves and understands that person anyway. And, along with his loving understanding of the people who have hurt me and my children, he understands my own wrongdoings and my own difficulties in forgiving.

There is much to learn for all of us, and, I believe, many lifetimes to learn it in. If we let hatred of those who have wronged us live in our hearts, perhaps we will come back as abusers, so we can learn their stories from the inside and gain understanding that way.

One of the wisest sentences ever uttered is:,
"there, but for the grace of god, go I".

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:40 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

But yes, the abuse to these women was very severe. Some have external scarring, and others have developed dissociative disorder, and multiple personality disorder (rare, I know, but two of them have it), and of course they all have depression, panic disorder, and post traumatic stress. Also two in the group are diagnosed with explosive personality disorder, and go into rages. So, it's quite an aftermath of childhood abuse.

Wow that is serious, but it is too be expected. Without some sort of help or direction the people often fall into some type of personality split. Now this can come from when the abuser beat them or whatever, the victim often retreats to another "person" to make the abuse bearable. They put themselves in a different place and they make a differnet person from this. But that is very severe cases in which that happens, wow, if you do not mind me asking do you work in a mental health facility? or are you a volunteer? speaker?

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by John Matrix

Thank you for this. It kinda sums it up, I think. I just hate that people are in agony thinking they HAVE to forgive, and can't.

I think when the time is right for them, they will be able to let go.

It's better to have a genuine experience, than follow someone else's dogma, as others would have us believe.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:07 PM
reply to post by TheMythLives

I have u2u for you. But, yes, in the most severe of cases, a child does not know what to do....clueless. No experience, no one to protect them. The mind retreats. Vacates.

It is the coping strategy of a child's mind. As adult's they must learn to replace these strategies with one's that serve them better, so they can function in society. It's not always successful, but there are successes nonetheless. Sometimes medications are involved.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:09 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Yep. I have heard of some people who made a recovery that they could live in the "real" world. Some have to live on meds and the works and still need help. But nonetheless, thanks for the u2u and I have responded. Its all in the experience that we can gather knowledge of what they went through, yet many of us will never "understand" what they went through.

posted on Jul, 6 2009 @ 05:31 PM
reply to post by Kailassa

This reminded me of something I wanted to post, but I couldn't find it. It may be from "The Prophet", by Gibran, (an oldie, but I still like it).

But anyway, he says (something to the effect of).....

What is the greatest and most noble thing a man has ever done, that great thing is in all of us to do, under the right circumstances.
whatever is the worse thing a man has ever done, is also in each of to do, under the right circumstances.

So. I don't know. What you said made me think of this.

Thank you for posting. I have read your posts before, and remember that you speak from experience, and from your heart.

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