Author: Ron Graham


Unreserved Forgiveness
—Looking at some common reservations

Jesus said, "If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:14). In that light,let us examine some common reservations about forgiving...

1 Some of us want to forgive only if the wrong is against someone else.

2 Some of us want to forgive only if there is something in it for us.

3 Some of us want to forgive only if the wrong is all squared up.

4 Some of us want to forgive just once more and never again.

5 Some of us want to forgive but not to forget.

6 Some of us want to forgive our friends but not our enemies.

7 Some of us want to forgive only if the sin is repented of.

1. When a wrong committed was unintentional. Why cause more hurt by drawing attention to the wrong? Treat it as "...a sin not unto death..." (1John 5:15-17). Jesus demonstrated this principle on the cross. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

2. When the offender is unrepentant and cannot be brought to account for his wrong. In this case don't hold on to the hurt. Let it go to "your Keeper" (Psalms 121:1-8, Jude 1:9, Romans 12:19). In this case you don't have to put yourself in the way of more harm if you can avoid it.

3. When the wrong us unresolvable —it would cause more trouble than it is worth to bring a person to account. A wrongdoer may even be taking advantage of this. In such cases, "Why not rather be wronged?" (1Corinthians 6:7). Some times the best outcome is through just silently suffering the wrong, putting it behind you, and getting on with your life. Don't get caught up in a game stacked against you. Simply withdraw.

Preached in 1978 at Newnham Tasmania, Boronia and Heidelberg West Victoria.