I agree that it is possible. I disagree that it is actually possible for Tom (I will give you theoretical possibility). I agree that it is very possible for Tom with God’s help/intervention.]]>
As for forgiveness, I think forgiveness is mostly for the person wronged. Carrying around bitterness and anger wrecks your soul. The sooner a person can get rid of that burden, the better.]]>
I don’t think forgiveness requires this. Forgiveness simply means bearing no ill will towards another. Thus, you can fully forgive another’s crime but still insist that they serve their jail sentence to maintain the integrity of the judicial system as well as for the sake of the protection of others.]]>
I don’t think we can understand what Jesus meant when he said this unless it is studied in the broader context of the scriptures. There are many examples of justice, injustice, mercy and cruelty, that must be considered. Otherwise we are all required to turn into helpless docile pacifists who look on meekly as vicious people do what they want.]]>
Tom is a good guy, and somehow he has managed to forgive Bob of all of it – even though Bob doesn’t show the slightest bit of remorse for it. But deep down, Tom is still a little bit raw about the whole deal and is still carrying a slight grudge against Bob.
Conclusion: It is not only possible for Tom to repent and fully forgive Bob, but it is a moral necessity. To the degree that he fails to love Bob as himself, Tom will never be happy.
An impossible feat for Tom? No. It is very possible. And though I’m not claiming that I could do it myself at this moment, I believe it’s actually much easier than we think. When we break down and actually love one another – when we see others as Christ sees us – the possibility suddenly appears.]]>
I guess I am saying that I feel a little uncomfortable telling someone to forgive unconditionally in this lifetime. If they’ve been through something bad, I think God will help them reach that state of required forgiveness in the hereafter.]]>
Regarding the timing on forgiveness, I am inclined to believe that the timing is more dependent on us than it is on God. Since I believe Him to be a loving Father, I think that He would rather have us with Him than not. Sometimes the process may be strung out to help out our humility or our patience (the development of both being essential to prevented further sinnin’ down the road), but ultimately God wants to forgive and to do it as soon as possible.
Finally, I do think that some things are beyond the human capacity for forgiveness (rape and murder of a daughter comes to mind). So it is lucky then that we can get divine help on this account.]]>
Flanders, I was agreeing strongly with everything you said up till the last line. I think we can and are morally obligated to forgive everything. What’s an example of something that “just can’t be forgiven by human beings”?
Which leads me to another point sparked by Flanders very last line. Are we sure that God will forgive us for not forgiving? Matt 6:15 says pretty bluntly, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” That sounds pretty clear cut to me.]]>
God can’t forgive everyone, otherwise everyone would get into heaven, and the law would be null.
I’ve always viewed the commandment for us to forgive everyone as more for our benefit. Kind of like the Maupassant story, “A Piece of String.” If we hold on to our hurts, it ends up warping us. That being said, I think there are some things that just can’t be forgiven by human beings and we shouldn’t feel too guilty about that. God will forgive us. Ha!]]>