Recently I received this meme on Facebook posted by a friend. It made me think a lot. How would you respond? What should we do? In the end I simply ignored it, but what were my options?

YES – such people take away my freedom and sense of well-being, they make me feel bad and lose sleep, they are not good for my health.

NO – such people need to realise what they have done, they need friends who will be honest and confront their behaviour, and shouldn’t we always forgive?

  • Forgiveness isn’t easy
  • Forgiveness is costly

The Lord’s Prayer

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” What does the ‘as’ mean in this sentence?

  • in the same way that we are forgiven?
  • at the same time that we are forgiven?
  • its a confession of faith and an expression of intention?

Forgiveness and Jesus at Easter

Some Pastoral Reflections on Forgiveness

  1. Forgiveness is in the nature and identity of God.
  2. Forgiveness is the will of God for the people of God.
  3. Forgiveness is powerful and shouldn’t be treated lightly.
  4. USE: Forgiveness releases the person being forgiven.
  5. ABUSE: Forgiveness can hurt, condemn or damage.
  6. Forgiveness should not be assumed or presumed.
  7. Forgiveness cannot and should not be compelled.
  8. Forgiveness comes from a heart that loves people.
  9. Forgiveness puts the other person first before everything.
  10. Forgiveness is not a therapy for our own benefit.
  11. Forgiveness doesn’t turn back the clock.
  12. Forgiveness doesn’t always rebuild trust or the relationship.
  13. Forgiveness provides a means for parties to move on.
  14. Forgiveness is part of a process depending on repentance.
  15. Forgiveness begins and ends with saying “I am sorry”.

Forgiveness within the context of Repentance

  • Humility
  • Acknowledgement
  • Sorrow  (I am sorry)
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness  (I forgive)
  • Repentance
  • Transformation  (I will change)

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