Posted by: Judy | May 21, 2019

Forgiveness…

I’ve had quoted at me, Matthew 18:22 “Jesus said to forgive until seventy times seven.” This is usually used as a whip. Somehow, the ones demanding forgiveness see this as a get-out-of-jail-free card to be drawn on in perpetuity.

How do they fail to notice that 70 x 7 equals 490. They weren’t mathematically stupid. Evidence exists of math being used in 3000 B.C.

Yes, repeatedly, Jesus says that those who forgive will be forgiven. The first is between us and offenders, and the second is between us and God, at least that’s how I see it.

Forgiveness is not about the offender. Forgiveness is about the victim. It’s about the victim giving revenge to God. Revenge and setting healthy boundaries are not the same thing.

Interestingly enough, even as Matthew 18:22  is quoted, Matthew 18:15-17 is ignored. Why does no one quote the scripture where Jesus has a three-step forgiveness endgame?

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go an tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, though hast gained thy brother

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

After all that, then Peter asks, “How oft shall I forgive him?’

Then Jesus says, “Until seventy times seven.”

Forgiveness isn’t about them. It’s about us.

Another Bible verse that’s ignored is Luke 17:3-4:

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him;  and if he repent, forgive him.

And if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

How often is the first directive ignored? The one that has you face the offender and try to work things out between you? They are to be rebuked, every time. I know I’m lousy at it. Rebuke has a negative slant, so how about confront them or talk with them? I’ve done it a few times, and it’s amazing. However, most of my life I was pushed to jump right into forgiving and pretending it didn’t happen. That isn’t how Jesus taught us to handle it.

Some abusers should not be confronted. A child should not have to confront the abuser and definitely not alone. Unfortunately, most abusers know how to put on the proper face in public.

Something that needs to be taken into consideration are those abusers who know how to mimic the correct words but don’t follow through, or they follow through only long enough to lull their victim into a sense of safety.

My abusers never said, “I repent.” Ever. I could follow that I need not forgive them. However, this holds me in the chains they fashioned for me.

Turning the lesson on myself, I think of mistakes I make over and over. Easy one: Overeating. I repent on a regular basis and mess up again and again.

Repentance gives me the opportunity to try again. Blessedly. I’m not lost forever because I messed up once.


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