Originally Posted by Vort
Originally Posted by clevermonkier
That's right, only God get's to make that judgement. And when you stand before him and explain that you just couldn't forgive that girl for a sin she had committed in the past, that you just couldn't let go of it... What is he going to say? "I love the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but if you it is REQUIRED to forgive ALL men".
Last time I checked, the principle of forgiveness was kind of important...
It's not a matter of forgiving her. You don't have to marry her to forgive her.
I know it's been awhile since this was posted, and the original poster Vort was responding to is no longer with us, but I just want to expound on this, because I've seen this thought process far too many times- and was once plagued by it myself.
Vort has identified a very important distinction that many of us seem to lapse over when considering our relationships with people. As human beings, we have a strong tendancy to generalize things. It helps us make connections between things that are related and have an affect on one another- a very useful ability we don't even realize we use at times. But, it can also lead to over
generalizations, where we make connections where there are none.
When we link forgiveness to how we respond to a relationship, we are overgeneralizing. It can lead to all kinds of problems. You can forgive someone and still have a desire not to interact with them. The two don't have to go together. If someone steals from you, do you give them an opportunity to steal from you again? No! But you still have to forgive them. If someone commits adultery, do you have to trust them? No! But you still have to forgive them. If someone hits you, do you stick around so they can hit you again? No! But you still have to forgive them. Clearly, our decisions about our relationships, who we allow in our lives and how we interact with them is NOT connected to our ability or willingness to forgive. But we subconsciously make that connection all the time.
When we make decisions about how to interact with an individual based on our understanding of their flaws, weaknesses, and mistakes- we are not being unforgiving- we are simply using sound, wise judgement. But wait! We aren't supposed to judge, right? We aren't supposed to judge THE PERSON. THAT is what forgiveness is about. We withhold making any sort of judgement about the person, their sincerity, their repentance, their soul- because it isn't our place to do that. We can't see inside their hearts and know what they are about- so we must keep ourselves open and understanding enough to be forgiving of everyone. But we CAN and SHOULD use our judgement to determine who and what we will allow to have an influence on our lives. That is something entirely separate from forgiveness.