Does the person who wronged you need to REPENT before you FORGIVE them?

@debrakcarey (19921)
United States
June 18, 2009 10:06am CST
Do you think God demands we forgive ALL those who hurt us regardless of whether or not they repent, have a change of heart?
2 people like this
5 responses
• Portugal
18 Jun 09
I don't know about God, but if a friend does me me wrong, I will forgive them, even if they don't repent. I won't, however trust them again untill they understand they did me wrong, but I will forgive them. It's not right to harbor anger, it will harm us more that the people we angry with. If your child misbehaves, you will forgive him or her, but you will still punish them, because they need to know they made a mistake and that has consequences.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
18 Jun 09
We can be more generous in our forgiving when it is a friend, this is true. What do you think about the concept that when you forgive someone who hasn't repented, you are giving them license to keep up the bad behavior. And you are correct...harboring anger is very unhealthy. So, can you NOT forgive and NOT be angry? As for children....anger is never appropriate when disciplining children. I always tried very hard before any discipline was given to talk to the child and make sure they knew what it was I was upset with. And if they showed any repentance the discipline was adjusted to reflect that. If I was sure of the offence and saw only denial (lies) the discipline was adjusted accordingly and always always explained to the child.
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@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
18 Jun 09
I would add to this (after seeing the post below mine) this scripture: Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespass against you, confront him; and IF he repent, forgive him. Please understand that I am not advocating an unforgiving heart. I think if you are able to come to the feeling that you can forgive even if there is no repentance, all the better. I did a Biblical study on scripture concerning forgiveness because I had been abused as a child and was struggling with intense anger....it was suggested to me that I MUST forgive to gain relief. But HOW do you forgive someone who hurt you that deeply when they feel they have done no wrong? I don't think God expects us to forgive those who do not repent....HE doesn't. Except a man repent....there is not forgiveness of sin.
1 person likes this
• Portugal
18 Jun 09
I understand that you are a christian woman, and that the word of God is sacred. However, the message of Jesus is to love our neighbour. How can you do this if you don't forgive them? You can not love someone while harboring anger, rage or hatred. This is why I think we should forgive, accepting who they are, their faults. Christ himself said 'forgive them father, for they don't know what they are doing', when being nailed to the cross. I believe Christ forgave this person, because he knew his message was too much for them to understand, and I also think this is what happens when people don't repent, it's because they don't understand the damage they have caused. Also in the prayer 'pai nosso', 'our father' I think in english, we say 'forgive us the same way we forgived those who have sinned against us'. If we are not able to forgive we won't be forgiven. But has I've said forgiving someone, doesn't really mean forgetting the harm they have caused us, if they didn't repent, then we should be on the look out to make sure they don't do it again.
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@dawnald (84198)
• Shingle Springs, California
18 Jun 09
I don't think God demands that we forgive people who don't repent. But I do think we are sometimes capable of forgiving people who don't. Depends on the offense, but I can sometimes put myself in the other person's shoes and understand why and that helps me forgive them whether they're sorry or not.
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@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
18 Jun 09
Yes, to forgive those who don't repent helps you. It releases the anger and prevents YOU from hurting further. It may even be a good example and lead them to repentance. But I don't feel the scriptures say we HAVE to forgive the unrepentant. I often need to put myself in the other persons shoes too...but with certain offenses this is not possible. On the subject of the Lord's Prayer..."forgive us our tresspasses AS we forgive those who tresspass against us"....GOD does not forgive the unrepentant. So if we are asking for forgivenss from God, it stands to reason that we are repentant...and we expect repentance before WE forgive. Human beings really don't comprehend the utter forgiveness that God means when He speaks of Forgiving us. Our sin simply does not exist in His mind any more. We are washed clean from sin. We do not cease to do wrong...but as long as we keep a truly repentant heart we are forgiven. We as humans are not really capable of this type of forgivenss towards others as we can never forget.
2 people like this
@silverglint (2001)
• Philippines
25 Jul 09
I think forgiving other people benefits us more than the person forgiven. If you do not forgive a person then you will continue to carry a grudge against the person which causes you to have a heavy heart. Forgiveness releases us from that heaviness. The Lord's dealing with you is different from the offender. If they did not repent, then they are the one accountable to God, if you did not forgive then you are accountable to God for that also.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
25 Jul 09
I understand what you are saying. What I've done is put it all in the Lord's hands. I guess that constitutes forgiveness?
• United States
12 Jul 09
No, Forgiveness has to come from the heart and soul. If you need a payment of repenting then isn't that saying you also judge them? That they have to follow some sort of rule or rules you set before forgivenss? Forgiveness is within each person to give to themselves as well as others. There isn't any rules to it to follow. We don't forget of some things, but in forgiveness you can't throw it back in the face of the person you forgave for it. Then in reality you did not forgive. It has to be whole and complete.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
12 Jul 09
See above. In the book of Matthew in the Bible, chapter 18, starting in verse 15...it lays out the way to gain back a brother who has offended you. You speak to him...and if he refuses to hear you, you take it to one or two impartial friends to consule you both, if the two agree that you were wronged and the offending brother still refuses to hear it says very plainly that he then is as a heathen. YOu are not expedted to forgive if he refuses to repent. Luke 17:1-3 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If they brother trespass against thee, rebuke him (confront him); and if he repent, forgive him. The Bible does not teach forgiveness without repentance. It is not a payment to YOU ...it is necessary for that brothers state of grace, his state of mind and spirit, his forgiveness from God for his offense. Without a change of heart a man is still a rebel against God. And Your forgiveness does him no good. It may make you feel better...but we are also admonished to put others welfare over our own, aren't we? It is typical of those who want to continue in their offenses to try and make forgiveness universal...but all of scripture is clear that if there is not a change of heart, repentance...there is no forgivenss of sin.
• United States
18 Jun 09
Hi, Deb! When somebody has wronged me, I hesitate to forgive. Depending on the individual situation, I general just move on with that person no part of my life. We have enough challenges to face without inviting anyone to repeat their damage to us.
@debrakcarey (19921)
• United States
18 Jun 09
Human beings love with a purpose. We expect something in return for our emotional commitment. No matter how altruistic you think you are....even if you do not want something tangible in return you expect to be well thought of for being a loving person. I have found that I am a flawed human being. I hurt people unintentionally. I want them to give me understanding for being flawed. So, it stands to reason that I give them this same understanding...if I am trying to be a good person. There are people in this world who would do you harm and never think twice about it. People who are totally self centered and selfish. This is where discernment comes in....if I sense someone care nothing for my feelings....I may care about their soul...I may care if they live or die in that state of unrepentance...but I do not have to hang around with them and subject myself to their negative and hurtful ways.
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