Forgiveness and Those Not Present

HisGloryIsPrecious

Well-Known Member
I didn’t know where to put this. But what does the Bible say about forgiveness if someone is not there to hear it? Is it too late or can we simply forgive that person in our hearts. Will God be displeased because we are not doing His will? I ask because there are people in my life that I’ve never approached about certain issues. My dad was an angry person who was verbally and sometimes emotionally abusive. I forgave him for his behavior after his passing, but does it really matter now. I also was brutally bullied as a child and as a teen and I have forgiven the bullies although I never saw them again and probably never will.
 

JoyJoyJoy

I Shall Not Be Moved
I think I only truly forgave my nephew for a wrong sometime after he died. It took me years.
There's another small group of people it has taken many years to forgive. It's hard.

The only way I can forgive these people is through Jesus Christ. My inner man is dead set against forgiveness.

Some of these folks didn't know me very well and I'm sure they don't remember me or what they did. I don't even know their names. But I despised them. Jesus knows I have let it go and HE is the one who matters.
I think it's ok to not be able to tell a person that you have forgiven them.
 

Wally

Choose Your Words Carefully...
Forgiveness does more to release us than release others.

Even God's forgiveness is hampered when we fail to forgive ourselves.

Many have clung to the I'm not worthy self imposed damnation which comes from hell.

OF COURSE we are not worthy. Its not about us being something we cant be,

Its about understand how much God love us.
Its about Him meeting our need at great selfless cost,
Its about how precious we are to Him.

And some, in a sort of fake humility refuse to accept God would forgive their sins, because they're not good enough.
We do need to be honest about what we are, but then we must accept Christ, His forgiveness,
then forgive ourselves and become the new creation He has ordained us to be.
To walk in faith - believing we are forgiven.

And if the opportunity is there, forgive and ask forgiveness from those we have encountered in some kind of offense.

God will use that, to help you grow, and maybe use it to open someone else's heart to God's forgiveness.

And even though we may think we can't forgive, With God ALL things are possible.
Give it to Him and trust Him to take care of it.
 

Nemophilist

Well-Known Member
I believe it's pleasing to God when we forgive, even if they've already passed away. Not to mention the benefit to you. I've always heard it said that keeping unforgiveness in your heart is like drinking poison, but expecting the other person to die (or something like that:laugh)
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
I think it is important to forgive people. But you can forgive people, but that doesn't mean you have to be around them. Some people due to personality traits, temper, etc. it is just better to stay away from them. Especially if you find yourself always having trouble with them. That could be friends, family, etc.

One of these days we will be redeemed and made perfect. We will then be able to fellowship in harmony with others. But I think sometimes we will find it too difficult on this side of things. JMHO.
 

ChildofLight

Well-Known Member
I forgave my hateful sister-in-law several years before she passed. I’m not sure if there was something mentally wrong with her or if just evil. My belief is just evilness looking into her eyes. I felt such relief for myself because I had come to grips with the situation. It is kind of like just turning it over to God.
 

HisGloryIsPrecious

Well-Known Member
I find it interesting that those of you who have responded have had the same experiences I’ve had. I guess I was looking for what the Bible says about this other than Jesus told us to forgive and accept the forgiveness of others. I guess what is most important is what is in our hearts. Perhaps wanting to know how the other person thinks and feels makes it more about us and our own sense of validation as opposed to letting go.
 

Wally

Choose Your Words Carefully...
When its pain, injury, violation, cruelty... there are many cases of injustice where most of us would find it impossible to forgive.
Especially from an unrepentant or lying perpetrator.

Yet, turning the other cheek s the highest calling.

We are not called to be fools. Neither doormats nor enablers.

And laws are to be a terror to evil.

But to allow hate and revenge to fester in our hearts will only tear us down. Perhaps the essence of forgiveness is to give it to God.
To acknowledge HE knows the Truth, He understands the failing, He understands the pain. To surrender to His Perfect Justice and Mercy.

And then, to consider how unjust it was for Christ to suffer our penalty.
From there we need to thank Him for His Grace and Mercy.

And pray for the power to go beyond the pain and forgive as He does us.
 

joni

Member
It is possible to forgive without them hearing it or knowing about it. One day a few years ago, a co-worker, who professed to be a Christian, were talking with other co-workers near my workstation. He got to laughing about a story and used the Lord's name in vain. I did pull him aside and spoke with him about and he apologized. Still in my heart it hurt. Maybe it was the same day, but for the first time in my life, I asked God to please help me through this and take it off my shoulders and heart. It worked! I felt that burden physically leave me.
 

Pat

Active Member
Matthew 18:15-35 relates that Jesus said to forgive 70 X 7 times. This puts a situation of forgiveness of anyone, dead or alive out of reach to those who forgive in name only and not from the heart. We are incapable of forgiving someone who sins against us 7 times much less 70 times that. So what are we to learn here? First, recognize that we do need to forgive, no matter how or how many times we've been wronged. Why? Because of how much we have wronged God. We need forgiveness 7000000000....X 7+ for our sins and He has forgiven us that much and more. We have a debt that we cannot possibly pay and yet it has been paid by the one we owe. Second, we can forgive someone on paper (say we forgive them with our mouth and mind) and still have not forgiven in our heart. This cannot be done by the will of the flesh. It must come from the Lord Jesus. So, our prayer/confession must be "Lord, I want to forgive but I don't. Please change me." This usually doesn't happen overnight, but as we present ourselves as living sacrifices, He will transform us. Remember though, it doesn't happen because we will it to be so. Jesus must do it in us, and when that happens, we will know that forgiveness has taken place by Him in us.
I loved my Dad but also I hated my Dad for the abuse etc. I received growing up. When he died, the hatred festered in me so much so that I would make an obscene gesture at the cemetery he was buried in as I passed. As a Christian, I knew I must forgive him and told the Lord that I did, but my emotions of hatred would not leave me, alerting me that I still must not have forgiven him. As I prayed for the Lord to change me, I awoke one morning finding the hatred gone. 100% taken away and in its place a feeling (emotion) of gratitude and love for my Dad. That is something impossible for a person to do. Only Jesus can make those changes. For quite a while after that, I would salute when passing the cemetery. I guess the point is, I didn't try to fool God by repeating that I forgave my Dad, when in fact the hatred remained. My honest admission and confession was what God was looking for and then He did the changes. Blessings.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Matthew 18:15-35 relates that Jesus said to forgive 70 X 7 times. This puts a situation of forgiveness of anyone, dead or alive out of reach to those who forgive in name only and not from the heart. We are incapable of forgiving someone who sins against us 7 times much less 70 times that. So what are we to learn here? First, recognize that we do need to forgive, no matter how or how many times we've been wronged. Why? Because of how much we have wronged God. We need forgiveness 7000000000....X 7+ for our sins and He has forgiven us that much and more. We have a debt that we cannot possibly pay and yet it has been paid by the one we owe. Second, we can forgive someone on paper (say we forgive them with our mouth and mind) and still have not forgiven in our heart. This cannot be done by the will of the flesh. It must come from the Lord Jesus. So, our prayer/confession must be "Lord, I want to forgive but I don't. Please change me." This usually doesn't happen overnight, but as we present ourselves as living sacrifices, He will transform us. Remember though, it doesn't happen because we will it to be so. Jesus must do it in us, and when that happens, we will know that forgiveness has taken place by Him in us.
I loved my Dad but also I hated my Dad for the abuse etc. I received growing up. When he died, the hatred festered in me so much so that I would make an obscene gesture at the cemetery he was buried in as I passed. As a Christian, I knew I must forgive him and told the Lord that I did, but my emotions of hatred would not leave me, alerting me that I still must not have forgiven him. As I prayed for the Lord to change me, I awoke one morning finding the hatred gone. 100% taken away and in its place a feeling (emotion) of gratitude and love for my Dad. That is something impossible for a person to do. Only Jesus can make those changes. For quite a while after that, I would salute when passing the cemetery. I guess the point is, I didn't try to fool God by repeating that I forgave my Dad, when in fact the hatred remained. My honest admission and confession was what God was looking for and then He did the changes. Blessings.

Thank you for sharing that Pat. I think we all have situations like that at some point in our lives. We just need to give it to the Lord and let Him work on us. I'm glad you were able to get over it. :)
 

HisGloryIsPrecious

Well-Known Member
Matthew 18:15-35 relates that Jesus said to forgive 70 X 7 times. This puts a situation of forgiveness of anyone, dead or alive out of reach to those who forgive in name only and not from the heart. We are incapable of forgiving someone who sins against us 7 times much less 70 times that. So what are we to learn here? First, recognize that we do need to forgive, no matter how or how many times we've been wronged. Why? Because of how much we have wronged God. We need forgiveness 7000000000....X 7+ for our sins and He has forgiven us that much and more. We have a debt that we cannot possibly pay and yet it has been paid by the one we owe. Second, we can forgive someone on paper (say we forgive them with our mouth and mind) and still have not forgiven in our heart. This cannot be done by the will of the flesh. It must come from the Lord Jesus. So, our prayer/confession must be "Lord, I want to forgive but I don't. Please change me." This usually doesn't happen overnight, but as we present ourselves as living sacrifices, He will transform us. Remember though, it doesn't happen because we will it to be so. Jesus must do it in us, and when that happens, we will know that forgiveness has taken place by Him in us.
I loved my Dad but also I hated my Dad for the abuse etc. I received growing up. When he died, the hatred festered in me so much so that I would make an obscene gesture at the cemetery he was buried in as I passed. As a Christian, I knew I must forgive him and told the Lord that I did, but my emotions of hatred would not leave me, alerting me that I still must not have forgiven him. As I prayed for the Lord to change me, I awoke one morning finding the hatred gone. 100% taken away and in its place a feeling (emotion) of gratitude and love for my Dad. That is something impossible for a person to do. Only Jesus can make those changes. For quite a while after that, I would salute when passing the cemetery. I guess the point is, I didn't try to fool God by repeating that I forgave my Dad, when in fact the hatred remained. My honest admission and confession was what God was looking for and then He did the changes. Blessings.
Excellent post! And God bless you!
 

Jaybird

Well-Known Member
Matthew 18:15-35 relates that Jesus said to forgive 70 X 7 times. This puts a situation of forgiveness of anyone, dead or alive out of reach to those who forgive in name only and not from the heart. We are incapable of forgiving someone who sins against us 7 times much less 70 times that. So what are we to learn here? First, recognize that we do need to forgive, no matter how or how many times we've been wronged. Why? Because of how much we have wronged God. We need forgiveness 7000000000....X 7+ for our sins and He has forgiven us that much and more. We have a debt that we cannot possibly pay and yet it has been paid by the one we owe. Second, we can forgive someone on paper (say we forgive them with our mouth and mind) and still have not forgiven in our heart. This cannot be done by the will of the flesh. It must come from the Lord Jesus. So, our prayer/confession must be "Lord, I want to forgive but I don't. Please change me." This usually doesn't happen overnight, but as we present ourselves as living sacrifices, He will transform us. Remember though, it doesn't happen because we will it to be so. Jesus must do it in us, and when that happens, we will know that forgiveness has taken place by Him in us.
I loved my Dad but also I hated my Dad for the abuse etc. I received growing up. When he died, the hatred festered in me so much so that I would make an obscene gesture at the cemetery he was buried in as I passed. As a Christian, I knew I must forgive him and told the Lord that I did, but my emotions of hatred would not leave me, alerting me that I still must not have forgiven him. As I prayed for the Lord to change me, I awoke one morning finding the hatred gone. 100% taken away and in its place a feeling (emotion) of gratitude and love for my Dad. That is something impossible for a person to do. Only Jesus can make those changes. For quite a while after that, I would salute when passing the cemetery. I guess the point is, I didn't try to fool God by repeating that I forgave my Dad, when in fact the hatred remained. My honest admission and confession was what God was looking for and then He did the changes. Blessings.
Thanks Pat. I am going through a similar situation and this has really helped.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
This thread has such golden wisdom!


As I prayed for the Lord to change me, I awoke one morning finding the hatred gone. 100% taken away and in its place a feeling (emotion) of gratitude and love for my Dad. That is something impossible for a person to do. Only Jesus can make those changes. For quite a while after that, I would salute when passing the cemetery. I guess the point is, I didn't try to fool God by repeating that I forgave my Dad, when in fact the hatred remained. My honest admission and confession was what God was looking for and then He did the changes. Blessings.

Love this Pat! Similar story myself. :nod


What also really helped me was learning that just because one forgives a person doesn't mean that trust is automatically given out again, that would be unwise. I think that depending on the situation, trust has to be re-established and in some cases, trust cannot be extended again. And, while I try to seek to have restored relationship where I can, that has to be based on restored trust, changed actions based on a changed heart. I think some people think that in being told to forgive they also think their being told they have to extend trust out again where it is actually dangerous to do so. I've noticed this can be a really block for some people and a relief when they realize that boundaries can be set along with forgiveness.

There's a family member who I had to have increased boundaries with but kept a degree of relationship (to encourage and support) as I saw this person genuinely in process of letting God work in his life. As this happened, our relationship has become much deeper and rich in the Lord and boundaries were not needed anymore as he was growing in the Lord and God was changing his heart. Another family member, who claims Christ has unfortunately chosen to continue in an unhealthy and now somewhat violent path. My boundaries are quite high and firm with him, but by God's power and strength (which I really needed to ask God for as the emotions were difficult), I forgive him and pray that the Lord would heal the hurts in his heart, help him and send people in the Lord to come along side him. There's a real lifting of burden for me in letting go and having confident trust that God will work in the situation, He can take this heavy weight on His broad shoulders and it's His work to do in this family member's life. At the same time if God begins to prompt me in any sort of change on my part or needed different response I hope to keep a tender heart open to any leading of God with this.
 

GoldenEagle

Well-Known Member
This thread has such golden wisdom!




Love this Pat! Similar story myself. :nod


What also really helped me was learning that just because one forgives a person doesn't mean that trust is automatically given out again, that would be unwise. I think that depending on the situation, trust has to be re-established and in some cases, trust cannot be extended again. And, while I try to seek to have restored relationship where I can, that has to be based on restored trust, changed actions based on a changed heart. I think some people think that in being told to forgive they also think their being told they have to extend trust out again where it is actually dangerous to do so. I've noticed this can be a really block for some people and a relief when they realize that boundaries can be set along with forgiveness.

There's a family member who I had to have increased boundaries with but kept a degree of relationship (to encourage and support) as I saw this person genuinely in process of letting God work in his life. As this happened, our relationship has become much deeper and rich in the Lord and boundaries were not needed anymore as he was growing in the Lord and God was changing his heart. Another family member, who claims Christ has unfortunately chosen to continue in an unhealthy and now somewhat violent path. My boundaries are quite high and firm with him, but by God's power and strength (which I really needed to ask God for as the emotions were difficult), I forgive him and pray that the Lord would heal the hurts in his heart, help him and send people in the Lord to come along side him. There's a real lifting of burden for me in letting go and having confident trust that God will work in the situation, He can take this heavy weight on His broad shoulders and it's His work to do in this family member's life. At the same time if God begins to prompt me in any sort of change on my part or needed different response I hope to keep a tender heart open to any leading of God with this.
I couldn’t agree more with what you’ve said here EL.

And I think this is especially important for people who’ve been brought up in dysfunctional homes, often with boundaries crossed and violated in all kinds of ways from the off. Part of the growth journey is learning between right and wrong - which sounds simple - but it can have a profound effect when one begins to understand some of the dynamics working in those dysfunctional relationships. For me at least, it’s been helpful to perceive and ‘label’ those things rather than just kind of gloss over them thinking “so-and-so meant well - I ‘just’ need to forgive”. When you’ve been brought up with dysfunction but believing it was ‘normal’ - it can take a while to realise and believe that it actually wasn’t - that it wasn’t ok - that it was wrong. And from there have the confidence to stand up for yourself as an adult and actually say ‘no more!!’. Because until you get to that point you’re open to the same things happening again and again.

Speaking from my own experience, growing in the area of healthy boundaries has been crucial to my development and healing. I haven’t arrived yet by any means, but I can genuinely heartfelt pray so much more for those I struggle with.

One more thing I feel I’ve learnt, is there’s a few people this side of heaven I might never get to the point of truly loving and forgiving unconditionally…at least I haven’t so far! But that’s ok. Because God is working on me and is using those very struggles to conform me into His image and work far greater good in the much bigger picture.
 
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