Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Should I Forgive Those Who Don’t Ask for Forgiveness?

This past Sunday I was blessed with the opportunity to preach Matthew 18.21-35 at Grace Fellowship Church. That is the passage where Jesus tells the parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

Naturally, in speaking about forgiveness, many questions were raised. People approached me later and asked many questions about when forgiveness is appropriate and what it looks like. One person who heard the sermon online (you can get it here) e-mailed and asked some questions as well.

Since most of the questions were generally along the same lines, I thought that posting my response here might be helpful to others. Here was the question that I was aiming to answer:

A friend said to me that as a Christian we do not have to forgive everybody. And the reason that was given was that God does not forgive everyone. God only forgives those who ask for forgiveness. Following this argument, as a Christian we would only have to forgive others who have asked us for forgiveness.

That question was followed up with another:

As a former psychology student/social worker, I’m interested in understanding more about how repetitive forgiveness looks without setting up boundaries or getting distance from a Christian who continually sins against you.

Here is my take:

——–

Your questions are not uncommon, that is for sure — and they are good ones. Typically when I’ve encountered people who argue that we only need to forgive those who ask, I’ve discovered that they hold that position because they’ve been deeply hurt in the past by someone who may or may not have been repentant. The prospect of forgiving someone for something genuinely evil when they haven’t even sought forgiveness or admitted their wrongful actions is a scary one that can seem like death. So the much easier answer is to appeal to the reality that God only forgives those who ask.

The trouble, of course, is that whether God forgives or not is God’s prerogative (should God forgive those who die as young children, incapable of understanding the gospel and exercising repentance and faith?). There is nothing outside of himself that compels him to forgive. When we view ourselves as the ‘God’ figure in the relationship, we’re missing something. The reality is that we are servants, compelled by the mercy we’ve been shown, to forgive other (equal) servants. That’s different than God’s forgiveness. Our forgiveness displays the reality and power of God’s forgiveness, but it’s different. We are commanded to forgive; God does so of his own character. When God forgives it is a superior showing mercy on an inferior; when we forgive it is servant to servant. The connection between God forgiving us and us forgiving each other is a little more nuanced than some like to admit.

That being said, how can there be true reconciliation in relationships if the offending party doesn’t admit wrong? Offering forgiveness really means next to nothing if the offender doesn’t believe they need forgiveness in the first place.

All things considered, I think that what Christ is calling us to is a stance, a posture of forgiveness. He’s calling us to a readiness to forgive in a moment. I think he is calling us to treat people with love and mercy, with humility and compassion. He is calling us to remember that if someone has sinned against me, I should be quicker to identify with them (‘I have sinned this way too…’) than to identify with God (‘I have been offended without cause…’). When we realize that it could have just as easily been me offending as me offended, I’m much slower to hold offences against other people.

Whereas most people say ‘I don’t need to forgive because you haven’t asked for forgiveness’ in order to justify holding on to feelings of woundedness and bitterness, Christ calls us to identify with the offender and to be ready to be fully reconciled in a moment. It’s a the posture of the heart more than a specific action in that case, but it will make all the difference in the world in the way you think about, relate to, and pray for the person who has offended you.

As for the questions regarding boundaries, I’m not sure I have absolute answers for you in specific instances. Again, what Jesus is striving to portray for us is a heart that is ready and willing to be wounded again and again for the sake of love and for the sake of modelling the heart of God. But in the wisdom literature (e.g. Psalm 1) there is much to indicate that we ought not to make it our habit of making persistent sinners our close friends (for numerous reasons).

I think, in this context (Matthew 18), the difference between the sinner of verses 15-20 and the sinner of 21-22 is simply that the former refuses to repent, while the latter is genuinely repentant, and seeking to change. Each specific case will need to be dealt with according to wisdom. Some sins must be treated differently than others, and some have more lasting consequences.

But in all things, we are called to be ready and willing to forgive, and hopeful of fully reconciled relationships through repentance and forgiveness. I think that’s the bottom line.

I guess what concerns me about the position that says we forgive only those who ask is not so much that they are outright wrong, but that it seems to be asking, ‘Who can I get away with not forgiving?’ It’s the wrong question. The right question is more along the lines of ‘How can I respond to the matchless and limitless forgiveness I’ve received from God? Who can I forgive in order to display the gospel to the world?’ That seems to me to be a world of difference.

25 Comments

  1. Thank you Julian for your timely reminder to adopt a forgiving and loving posture to those around us.

    I am not sure you have really answered the question as to whether we should only forgive those who have asked for it. What is more I am not sure that is the best way to word the question. It is clear from the our Lord's teaching in Matt 18, and elsewhere, that we should not wait passively for the offender to seek forgiveness but rather that we should seek to give forgiveness and be reconciled. If the question implies a passive stance then clearly it has missed the mark. That being sad let me ask the question a different way:

    Are we obliged to forgive those who sin against us and refuse to repent of the offense?

    I would take the Puritan line that the answer to that is "no". If you argue that you are obliged to forgive without repentance then how do you deal with texts such as Luke 17:3,4

    "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."

    Why does the Lord place the condition of repentance upon the act of forgiveness?

    Secondly if we are to forgive without repentance why does Paul give the instructions in Romans 12:17-21 not to return evil with evil or take revenge with the quotation that "vengeance is mine, says the Lord, I will repay"? Surely Paul could simply have reminded his readers that they ought to have already forgiven their enemies so there is nothing left to be paid?

    I get the impression that you are implying that the answer is"no" when you question if there can be true reconciliation without admission of guilt, and suggest that offering forgiveness is meaningless if the need for it is not sensed. I think if you argue that we should always forgive at all times with or without repentance then you often end up with a low view of forgiveness. I suspect that in our language we fail to distinguish between

    (1) true forgiveness which includes a restored relationship, and
    (2) a giving of the offense over to the Lord and not exacting payment from the offender (Romans 12)

    The latter ie expected of us, but sadly the former is not always possible (and tragically even between brethren).

    • Forgiveness requires 2 parties reconciling, if that's your definition of Forgiveness then there is still NO forgiveness when the offending party doesn't acknowledges while the offended party so called forgives.
      In fact, I can only call this ,"sweeping it under the carpet!"

      The offended party is the left with a decision – "Do I want to hold a grudge and suffer the consequences?"

      If the answer is "NO", then I have come to the conclusion that the offended can only hand it over the the LORD with this verse..
      “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rom12:19

      For those who think for a moment that I'm theorising – think again! I continually live with someone who seldom asks for forgiveness but the offending keeps pouring in not just verbally but also physical – think about that!

      This is why I can only come to this conclusion with Rom 12:19

      • If you are living with someone who verbally and physically abuses you, I would like to offer to you that God thinks you deserve better and as your sister in Christ, I would advise you to seek your freedom.
        Much love.

    • Suppose someone wrongs me (even without me feeling wronged) and asks for my forgiveness, if I say to the person "I forgive you, sincerely and unreservedly, and really mean what I am saying, do you think that the Lord would consider me to be merciful?

    • Chard I really like your comment. This issue seems to be complex… but maybe it is not as complex as we think. I do not want to cheapen forgiveness… especially God's forgiveness toward us (and He never sinned). I understand what Julian is showing that God is God and we are not… and basically because we are not then we must try to forgive even if the offender has never felt remorse.

      I say all this because I myself am 'trying' to forgive an Pastor for trying to seduce me when I was 17 years old. He showed me a drawing of a naked man with a the man's private part sticking straight out and bigger than the man himself (this is a drawing). This pervert pastor kept pointing to the man's private part and asking me…"What do you think"… over and over again. It was really creepy and weird. He was not successful in doing anything to me physically… but my mind felt almost raped… just as if he had physically raped me.

      To make things worse I told my parents… and they really didn't care that much… or think it was a big deal. Back then @ 1972 Pastors, Dentist and Doctors were all looked at… almost as if they were equal to God… and so they dare not question them.

      In the meantime… I was deeply hurt… not only by the wolf in sheep's clothing but by my parents who are suppose to defend their children. I was not only not defended by my parents but they continues to take us kids back every Sunday to that same church. Years later they left the church because the perverted pastor was trying to get homosexuals to join the church… not to help them repent… but just because he liked them. He never preached the real Gospel… but a false gospel and a false Jesus. He diminished Christ's miracles to try and explain them away… and make Christ only out as human… but part of God. In a nutshell he was a full blown atheist pretending to be a pastor… while trying to seduce young ladies and agreeing with and supporting the homosexual agenda. He was probably bisexual even though he was married to a women.

      My mom and dad told me about a year ago that they remembered going to this pastors house for his birthday party (this was many years ago) and the pastors wife had hired a belly dancer to entertain the guest. It made both my parents very uncomfortable and they had to leave the party early. There was something wrong with his wife too… to do such a thing. To hire an almost naked women…moving her body around in a manner not much different than a stripper but without with clothes on. Oh dear… where is Jesus Christ in all of this. Absolutely no where! It was bazzarro land.

      Can you give me some scripture to help me heal. That man is now in his 80's. Do I right him a letter. I really want no contact with him. But I still need some closure here… thus the letter may help… and give him a chance to ask for my forgiveness.

      Thank you.

  2. I am in an actual dilemma such as being discussed here.

    I have two brothers. I am the middle child. My elder brother is irresponsible, hurts his children and wife and does not have a regular job to take care of their needs. The other one is younger than me and have borrowed money from me several times in the past but never paid me back. I never insist on payment anymore since I wanted to help him and be the elder brother to him that my elder brother had never been to me.
    When my younger brother got married and find himself in the same situation like our elder brother (no regular work to support his young family) he talked to me about putting up a business with him as partner. He convinced me that we will be partners – I put up the money for building a store and all other related expenses (appliances needed for the store, etc.) while he and his wife will provide the labor side, somewhat like industrial partners. I talked it over with my wife and together, because we wanted to help, we agreed that the plan is good since this will also help the elder brother who could be part of the business and therefore help somewhat in supporting his own family. We were thinking along the lines: “Teach them how to fish and not just give fish”. We were thinking and hoping that in this way we could help.

    One month into the business, my younger brother and his wife complained about my elder brother’s inappropriate business behaviors. Since my younger brother told me he could not directly confront the elder brother, I took it upon myself to talk to him every single instance.

    By the end of the second month, the sales that were supposed to have come from the store is not turning up. In a meeting with the two brothers, I have laid down all cards and told them where I think things have gone wrong. (I based this on the reports, etc. which I know that I have objectively analyzed) I talked to them in the nicest way I can put it to avoid any conflict.

    Instead, my two brothers went against me (and my wife) calling us ‘bossy’. They called my wife ‘prima donna’ – my wife who sold her old car so we could build the store that could help them out for their sakes and their family’s. They left us just like that, not minding that we shelled out a huge amount of money to build the store and put contents into it. What hurts most is they left us thinking that it is us who did them wrong. They never recognized the sacrifices we have done for them. That our plans all started with the idea of ‘how we could help’.

    I could say that my wife and I we are good people. We try to live what Christ teach us. A lot of times, especially when this family issue had just happened, we would often pray together and ask the Lord to give us the strength to forgive. My wife tells me about forgiving seventy times seven. That they are my brothers and I should forgive them.

    All this time we have not spoken to each other but I was paving the way for forgiving when my friend approached me told me that my brothers continue to say bad things about me and my wife. They are not only “not repentant” they are also offensive, still. How could you forgive those that do not even recognize they are wrong or that they have wronged.

    My younger brother, after about 2 years of not speaking to me one time asked my mother that he wanted to speak to me. So I met him only to find out that he wanted to cash his portion of our old house and sell his portion to me because he needed the money to get a house for his family. My mother was devastated. How can my younger brother think it when my mother is still alive and have not divided properties yet. So I told my brother, for the sake of putting things in to the proper perspective, if ever our mother will consent on this, and that’s a big IF, I told him that we would first sort out what have not been resolved in the past. For this is yet again another proposition from him but the fact remains that from the last proposition, he has not taken any responsibility and just left us (his business partners) hanging without as much remorse or guilt from his side that he did that to us. So I told him, we have to talk about what happened there and close the chapter (with view of forgiving, brother to brother) before we move on to another proposition. He then went berserk, telling me he won’t kneel to me or to my wife. (When I have not said anything about kneeling or anything close to that at all).

    I told my wife I don’t want to talk to my brothers ever again. I told my wife I don’t ever want to see them again. But my wife tells me, if your brother approaches you and talks to you (not even ask forgiveness, but just talk) and you feel like they are trying to “approach” you, then you must forgive them. I understand this. But I don’t think that it will ever happen – that they will try to ‘approach’ me, since I still bad mouth us after all the things we tried to do to help. How can we forgive those who do not ask forgiveness?

  3. I would like to add that Jesus also commands us to Love one another. First Corinthians ch 13. Vs 5 should be a clear answer to the question. So if we show love to one another than we cannot keep record of our offenses. And we must forgive or else we cannot be forgiven.

  4. Keep praying to the lord and let go. The burden will now be his. Keep praying to the lord on how to forgive and let go. I am doing the same. An ex-friend blamed me for everything even after I sought him out to fix things. I apologized on my part for getting angry with him, but he chose to reject me entirely. I pray for him but its all on the lords part. Its whoever he throws into your life that counts. Remember that in revelations that brother and family will go against each other. Keep praying to the lord if you want your brothers reconciled with you. Since you did your part, there is nothing more you can do. Live your life and don't let your mind be weak. Them being irresponsible, gossiping behind your back, and lack of forgiveness shows their insecurity plus immaturity. A Christian is none of those. Sadly, they just never grew up. You grew up because you walked with the Lord, he showed you the way and you followed. Your brothers and my friend chose not to. So its their lost. Move on. Just be ready to forgive if they ask for forgiveness.

  5. I came across this article in search for answers regarding forgiveness. I have been struggling to forgive someone for some time now. This is a person whom I've confronted regarding a serious offense that she caused and that hurt me tremendously. I was ready to offer reconciliation and forgiveness, until she turned around and told me that she did nothing wrong and defended her deed. Basically she said, but not verbatim, "Why do I need your forgiveness? I didn't see anything wrong with what I did." Then she went on to tell me some twisted explanation for her actions. Now that I think of it, I now feel sorry for her.

    Anyway, while I was reading this article and some comments that follow, it occurred to me that the question is not about if we should forgive those who never asked forgiveness, but instead, we should ask ourselves, what would Christ do in such a situation? The answer is easier than we think and it's found in Luke 23:34. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    Some people just don't know any better, even if the offense was obvious. We don't need to wait for them to ask for our forgiveness. I know it hurts us to forgive someone who had wronged us, but it is the first step that will set us free from the bitterness. God knows our hearts and all we can really do is leave the rest up to God and pray for the other person, the one who wronged us. God will deal with that person Himself His own way. (Romans 12:19)

    Thanks Julian for posting this article. If I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have discovered my answer.

    • I love your comment. Good point. Good scripture. I have been struggling with a pastor who tried to seduce me with pornography when I was younger @ 17. But in this case… he was a pastor… who was suppose to know the difference between right and wrong… unrighteousness and righteousness… sin and holiness. How can I honestly say… Forgive him Father for he doesn't know what he was doing. Those who preach the word… should know the word. How can he be so ignorant of the word. I believe in this case, and I don't think he ever repented (his life showed evidence of that)… it may be different. He knew what he was doing. No doubt about it. Now I feel stuck with how to deal with forgiving a continually lustful nasty man who never showed any remorse or guilt for what he did and said… on numerous occasions. This man was literally evil. He was a wolf in wolf's clothing. He didn't even try to hide it that much. He discusts me… even to this day. How do I forgive such a man. He was never deflocked and retired at a normal retirement age… and is still alive… in his early 80's.

  6. pretty cool! yeah, just viewing them as "brain-dead" on that issue or offense really helps, and hopefully not getting re-victimized… although Jesus and His followers were. after a mental decision to forgive, prayer helps for God to work restoring our heart and emotions after injury. tough to heal, painful sometimes. that's my meagre opinion!

  7. whoops! pardon me!!! upon more reflection, I think I should say: "viewing them as Spirit-dead on that issue or offense" (not "brain-dead") :):):)

    • Julian

      14 March, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Haha, yeah, that makes a difference, Mary! 🙂 Thanks for the thoughts and for the correction. 🙂

  8. It seems odd that we humans can forgive without being asked, but God cannot.

  9. We can and should forgive all offenses againts us, and pray to The Lord for Him to take care of the situtition of those who do offend us. We don't want to jeopardise our blessings from God by not forgiving others just as God has extended so much forgiveness to us. But that doesn't mean we have to continue to be in the presence of the offender to keep getting slapped down and humiliated over and over again with no sorrow or repentance from the offender in sight. Yes Jesus said "forgive them Father for they know not what they do". while hanging on the cross, but he didn't say that they would be in His presents in Heaven for their actions.

  10. Excellent information. I've been advising my 17 year old daughter on the Christian forgiveness model, as it pertains to a friend at church. Her friend has asked for forgiveness for a fairly serious offense, but refuses to tell her why she did what she did. There was also hollowness within her repentance, and a continuation of the behavior, although to a lesser extent. In wanting to give my daughter good counsel, I came across some of the same verses referenced above, and have told her 1) she is her Christian sisters keeper, 2) God has modeled how to forgive for us, which we are told to follow, and 3) no matter if true repentance is offered, my daughters heart should be craving a repaired relationship. It seems to me that God's model for us to have a heart ready and craving to forgive is much harder and much more convicting as to what he did for us through his son than to just placidly offer forgiveness without repentance from our offender. And between two Christian sisters the binding that transpires when true repentance is offered, including an explanation for the offense, and a heart that is open and craving to forgive is like a well grafted branch that has broken on a tree. I have forwarded your article to my daughter, and I thank God for your Biblical insight.

  11. This issue is something that I deal with daily with my husband. He's an alcoholic and, although he, somewhat, tries to at least eat during the day at work so the alcohol doesn't take over his personality, he still CHOOSES to drink. Both myself and our 17 year old daughter have pleaded with him to stop coming home drunk, he just mumbles an apology, of sorts, and continues to disappoint us. When he's sober he's wonderful but when he's drunk neither myself nor my daughter will approach him. We just try to ignore him and go about our business. Unfortunately, when he's drunk that's when he wants to "engage" in conversation with us and gets angry when we continue to try to avoid him. Usually, I make some under the breath comment that sets him off and next thing we know we're in a shouting match. He says that I don't know how to forgive and that I'm holier than Thou, better than him, etc. but the truth, as I see it, is that each day that he comes home sober, we get along fine and we have our family back. That's forgiveness. That's my wanting to save our family and our relationship. Each time he comes home drunk, that's him not caring about our family and it gets harder and harder to "get over" the pain and anger I feel. I'm really afraid that when our daughter moves out into the world that one of us is going to walk out and never come back. After 21 years of marriage that's really sad and frightening. I guess I still love him, but I really hate who he becomes when he drinks. I've resorted to trying to separate him into two different people – one is my husband and the other is his loser buddy who comes to stay where he's not wanted. That worked for a little while but I have a hard time when I remember that it's my husband who chooses to drink in the first place. So – I'm wanting to forgive but he's continuing the behavior and I hate what it does to my daughter, myself and our family.

  12. Yes, keep praying for your family. At this point it looks like your brothers are not nice people. Very sad to see, but they will be judged one day by the choices that they made and the lives they led.

  13. Jesus died for all sin. God forgives the sins in past present and future.all but only to those who receive it through faith accepting Jesus Christ. He forgave all those in the Old Testament who looked toward the messiah coming Christ and the sins of those who aren't even born yet. For He bore those sins on Him, it is done it is finished. We should forgive those who ask forgiveness and those who do not as our Father has.

    • Our Heavenly Father will not forgive the unrighteous… nor will they be allowed in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10… "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (old English for homosexual), nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God" Now if they repent… turn from their sin from a godly sorrow in their heart… for committing those sins… then yes they can enter the Heaven.
      God's Grace and Love does not cover everything over… but only over those who repented and believed the Gospel. The rest were the unrighteous… who never repented nor believed the Gospel… these will not enter into the Kingdom of God… sadly.

  14. True forgiveness is the desire NOT to take vengence on someone… but to hand them over to God… in prayer, attitude and thought. God knows exactly what that person did and throught toward you. I had a pastor who tried to seduce me with a drawing of a naked man, in my parents kitchen. He then quickly closed his magazine when he saw my dad walking through the kitchen door. I was only 17. Before my father entered the room… this so called pastor continued to point to the man's private part in the drawing and say "What do you think" over and over again. It was soooo creepy. This pastor never asked for my forgiveness but showed other signs of sexual immorality later on… not toward me but others. He was never deflocked but retired at a regular retirement age. How can I honestly ask God to… forgive him by saying he knows not what he did. He knew exactly what he was doing. He also preached a different Gospel (like explaining Christ's miracles away like it didn't really happen that Gospel said it did)… and he preached another Jesus (one who never talked about sin or repentance. But we know that Jesus' first recorded word in the Bible was 'repent'… Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand) He made Christ out to be only human and not divine at all. He did not believe in the Trinity or God actually. He didn't really believe in God. Years later when I asked him who he thought God was… he said "Well you know what God spells backward is don't you?"

    How do I forgive such a man? He was plainly a wolf with little sheep clothing on. He was always smiling with this nervous smile and very fake laugh… almost to cover up for his wicked behavior and thoughts.

    I can hand him over to God… I can agree not to take vengence… so in this way… it is a form of forgiveness. It may not be a loud active form… but a form of some sort at least.

    I did order "Our Daily Bread" to be delivered to his house for free every month. He doesn't know I was the one who had them sent.

    So we are to love our enemies… so this is how I love him (though I never want to be around him ever)… by praying for him. Handing him over to God. And sending him the "Our Daily Bread" devotional. The Bible says to forgive, to pray for… and to do good for. So think I covered all the bases there.

    I am asking God to help me to heal… to release this pain he caused me… though he was never successful in physically raping me… I felt mentally raped though. I need healing there. A lot of healing.

    Thank you for praying for me. Please leave a comment hopefully based on the scriptures. Thank you so much.

  15. Dear Carol

    You need to let this go. You cannot exact revenge, even if you want to. The man is 80 years old. That does not excuse what he did, but there is nowhere to go with this. It sounds like quite possibly his life was filled with perversion–so much so that he maybe doesn't remember most of it. With people like that, their heart grows over with a callous so that they can keep on sinning. They don't even feel it anymore. They sin against their own conscience.

    I am going through a somewhat similar situation, although I am talking about a man that I thought was my husband. Thought, because it turned out that our "marriage" was not legal. I came home one day after three months of marriage to find that he was gone. I never knew why. No note, nothing. Every so often he would call but not let me talk. Then after he felt better for having me listen to him, he would hang up. I would call the number that he gave me, but it would be disconnected, every time.

    Now, this is a no-brainer; unless you both are Christians.

    Finally, a few months ago, I spent two weeks trying to find him. Well, I found him alright. He was on multiple porn and dating sites–listing himself as single. And I finally tracked him down and found out he had been living with a young girl in the Philippines (he is 65 years old).

    Now, what do you suggest that I do with that? This man consumed my whole life without my permission. I got nothing. I only waited because of the Word of God says that if you are married to a Christian that you are not supposed to move on but be reconciled.

    I ask you, Carol, do you think that is fair?

    One last thing: When I asked him during that one phone call only a few months ago what he was doing, he said that I was water under the bridge, I was ugly, and that he only married me because God told him to. He also said that God orchestrated his present shack-up with this young Filipino girl and that it was going to stand.

    Now you can talk to me about forgiveness. He never once said he was sorry. Instead, he yelled and said that he didn't have to justify himself to me. I got nothing. It would have been easier if he had beaten me to a pulp physically. Oh, by the way, this man is a preacher.

    What do you think of that?

  16. God gave us conditions for his forgiveness. He send his son to die for our sins , and through accepting Christ as your saviour is condition number 1 for Chist is the only way to God. Number 2 condition is found in the Lord's prayer, that part which says , " forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us". We have to understand a simple fact is that if you don't forgive someone there is some sort of pay back that person has to do or judgement. And judgement is only for the Lord. So by keeping the past in you affects you more than that person who wronged you, hate grows in you and it will affect even other people around you, because hate leads to anger management problems. Moreover God forgives those who forgive, and if you want to be forgiven for your sins with God , learn to forgive the others too. The meaning of forgiving has got nothing to do with someone asking for forgiveness , it's simply letting it go and pray for them that God forgives them too. This is why we are commanded to love our enemies, and by loving our enemies simply means that we hate the evil in themy not them. Love and pray for your enemies too.
    We didn't ask for forgiveness first, instead God sercrifised his son first that who ever believes in him is saved. Hold no grudge and surprise them by loving them. Peace be with you….

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