"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, October 29, 2009

so...forgiveness continued

Part 3 of our forgiveness thoughts-then it's time for some discussion with you!!

Now that we started thinking about Matthew 18 a little, let's get back to asking forgiveness. Here's an example that may happen way more than we think in our info-savy world.

Brad and Albert are emailing and sharing personal stuff. Comments and questions are asked, statments made so that Brad assumes all communications with Albert are staying strictly confidential. But, Albert shares some of Brad's emails with other people and ends up hurting Brad due to some of the content.

So-two possibles here:

1. Brad goes to Albert in the Matthew 18 way to say that he sinned against him. Should it happen? Probably. Will it? Hard to say, as often when we are hurt we just push it under the rug. Maybe Brad doesn't want to restore the relationship? If Brad is able to let the situation go and not be bitter, maybe he shouldn't bring it up? Or maybe he should because he knows that Albert is in sin and needs encouragement to repent? Or maybe Albert doesn't realize just how bad he hurt Brad? Brad is still responsible to forgive Albert whether Albert thinks he needs forgiveness or not. Because unforgivess often turns to bitterness which hinders Brad's relationship with God.

2. Or, and probably the "better" way-Albert is convicted by the Holy Spirit that what he did was wrong. He repents and seeks God's forgiveness. What now?? Scripturally is he required to ask Brad for forgiveness? We probably would all say yes he should! But where does it say that? What is accomplished by Albert doing that? Does he feel better? Probably. What of Brad's end? What if Brad isn't ready to forgive? He looks like the one with the problem now, not Albert. What then should Albert do? Is there other ways for him to make restitution to Brad? Maybe sometimes the only restitution is an apology??

Does this example help you see where the question is coming from? So, what do you think?

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