Forgiveness of Others

Do I need to forgive someone who is not repentant?Premium Content

Do I need to forgive someone even if it doesn’t seem that he is sorry?

Luke 17:3-4 answers that question this way:

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."

Jesus said that without genuine repentance there is no forgiveness. One example of this principle is when he says:

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation.2 Corinthians 7:10

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Forgetting and ForgivingPremium Content

Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee. Proverbs 20:22

Do not be in a hurry. Let anger cool down. Say nothing and do nothing to avenge yourself. You will be sure to act unwisely if you take up the club and fight your own battles; and, certainly, you will not show the spirit of the Lord Jesus. It is more noble to forgive and let the offense pass. To let an injury burn inside and to think about revenge is to keep old wounds open and to make new ones. It is better to forget and forgive.

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Do We Truly Love or are We Only Loving Ourselves?

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 RSV
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Drive out the wicked person from among you."

If we, the Church, were more obedient to God's Word, churches would probably be much smaller. Paul's admonition here is for Christians not to associate with those bear "the name of brother" if:

  • They are immoral
  • They are greedy
  • They are an idolater
  • They are a reviler
  • They are a drunkard
  • They are a robber

Carrying the Burdens of Your Past?Premium Content

We're commanded in Hebrews 12:1 to "lay aside every weight" so we can "run with patience the race that is set before us." Consider that first command: lay aside every weight, every burden that slows us down in our race forward. If we're dwelling on the past, that means we've stopped running, picked up some weights we were commanded to drop, and are giving them (not God or His commandments and His service) all our attention. No wonder we stop running and even start walking backward. For good reason do race horses wear blinders that force them to look forward, blocking out distractions so they can focus on the race.

Even worse, Hebrews 12:1 continues on into the second verse, explaining what we should be looking at when we run the race "set before us" (set in front of us): "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher ofour faith." If we're looking at the past, we're violating this second command of God's: we're not only picking up weights and burdens we were told to lay aside, to drop to the ground and regard as worthless impediments, but we're not looking at Jesus but rather at those forbidden weights instead. We should be rejoicing that Christ tells us to drop all these weights. Satan's worst enemy is a Christian focused on the future and running his race well.

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Married to an Unbelieving AlcoholicPremium Content

Ask Angie: My husband is an alcoholic. Although I have committed to staying with him, I can't help but regard him with disgust even AFTER he's been drinking. Thanks to the biblical principles you teach, I'm learning how to detach when he's drinking, but in the days following a drinking binge I don't feel any affection for him. In the early days of our marriage (we've been married 20 years), I was able to warm up to him once the drinking passed. Now I am just filled with disgust. Please give me some advice. Thank you.

Marriage Guidance: We commend you for your commitment to your marriage. This shows your love for God and your willingness to please Him and do His will. You are an inspiration for others who are living with an alcoholic spouse.

Your feelings are understandable seeing that some alcoholics can be sloppy in behavior and unclean in appearance and habits. The behaviors and appearance of the alcoholic can cause much resentment build up, which is what’s happening with you. You are just now learning to detach and part of detachment is separating the alcoholic behaviors and sickness from the person you met, loved and married. When we allow the alcoholic behaviors to overtake our own thoughts we will become disgusted and resentful over the alcoholic, even during bouts of sobriety.

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Emotions in Recovery: AngerPremium Content

Beyond the emotionally tumultuous days of the first few weeks of sobriety, people in addiction recovery then move into a second phase of early recovery. As their mind and body begin to function on a more normal basis, a new crop of emotions begin to surface. Once of the first, and most important of these is anger.

A. Emotions are not moral

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Anger: A Different ResponsePremium Content

Proverbs 17:14 NRSV
The beginning of strife is like letting out water;
so stop before the quarrel breaks out.


Ever punch a hole in a container full of water? This proverb is absolutely true. You can put all manner of things against the hole, but it's almost impossible to stop the water from seeping (or pouring) out!

There are many things in our lives that, once begun, are difficult to stop. Anger and fighting is one of them. I grew up in the generation that said that when you're angry, you need to "talk it out" in order to dissipate the emotions. Newer studies are showing that talking, when you're angry, can lead to escalation, rather than de-escalation.

"I thought it was healthy to express my anger." For the last 50 years the world has been saying:
"Express yourself."
"Let 'it out."
"It's good for you to express your feelings."
"It's bad for you to repress your feelings."

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Do You Want to Be Righteous or Right?Premium Content

Do we want to be righteous... or do we want to be right? It seems, these days, that many people have difficulties taking constructive criticism. The fact is, our egos are so sensitive (so self-centered) that we want everyone to approve of us all the time, rather than accepting the kind of sacrificial love that comes from a friend who wants us to be right with God. And, oh my goodness, what turmoil wells up inside us when we are rebuked! We take it as a personal offense, rather than quietly wondering if perhaps it's really true and we should do something about it.

    A rebuke strikes deeper into a discerning person than a hundred blows into a fool.Proverbs 17:10 NRSV

Friends don't let friends sin. That's the simple fact about Christianity. If we are true to our faith, we understand that everything here is temporal and our focus should be on the eternal. And the eternal is concerned with pleasing God.

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Learning How to Forgive and ForgetPremium Content

Proverbs 17:9 NRSV
One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.

Do we forgive?

Likely, the answer will be "yes," but for many of us, the truth is actually closer to "no." Rather, we hold grudges, withhold our trust, and generally are fairly unforgiving. In fact, for some of us, we cling to our offenses like comfort blankets, consoling ourselves with the idea that somehow withholding our friendship from someone who has hurt us actually deals that person a fatal blow. In reality, unforgiveness hurts us a lot more than it hurts the person at whom we are angry.

The problem, I think, is that we have forgotten how to repent. We teach our children the easy "sorry;" we use it ourselves. It no longer has any meaning. And forgiveness and repentance go hand in hand. In fact, we are so absorbed with the idea of tolerance (rather than repentance) that we are even reluctant to admit to another person that they have hurt us, have offended us. So rather than dealing with that issue and forgiving them, we hang onto our hurt. It's a vicious circle.

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Lies Adult Children of Alcoholics BelievePremium Content

1. That I can control my emotions.
2. That I can control someone else's emotions or actions or thoughts.
3. That I deserve:

  • to get something good.
  • to get something bad.
  • to be punished for mistakes.
  • to be rewarded for perfection.
  • to be rewarded for good behavior, intentions, thoughts, feelings, whatever.

4. That I can "make" sense out of anything. ("Making" sense is not the same as "discovering" sense.)
5. That I am responsible for

  • for outcomes.
  • for other people's feelings, thoughts or actions.

6. That I am not responsible for my own actions - that it is all someone else's fault.

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