Monday, August 3, 2009

Sin.

Bet you weren't expecting that to be a topic I'd be bringing up right now!

I use this blog as a scrapbook, not only of B, but my life. So sometimes I talk about things we do or watch or like. Every once in awhile I talk about something serious. Like Sin.

OK, so everyone sins, we all know that. And some sin seems cut and dry, like murder or adultry. It's obviously a sin to kill someone. But sometimes I find myself in a situation and I don't know if its right, wrong or indifferent...if there even is such a thing as indifferent.

So I'd like opinions on this one. Lets say that someone has done something that is wrong and hurts you, and you forgive them. But you don't forget what's happened and you can't go back to how things used to be as far as your relationship with them (any no, I'm not talking about Chris!).

Is that a sin? Should we forget as well as forgive and forge on like nothing has happened? Is it wrong to not want to have the same type of relationship you've had in the past or to not be as trusting of the person(s) as you were previously? Is it sinful in nature to not move on or to not forget?

I think I've thought about this so much over the last few months that I don't even know where I stand anymore. I need some outside opinions.

Thanks...and thanks for your advice on my previous post too! =)

28 comments:

Under the Influence said...

I think forgiveness is vital for your own emotional health.

I think not always forgetting is vital for your own emotional health.

Sometimes actions permanently alter relationships and it's impossible to forget that. Maybe over time, the 'guilty' party can earn back trust and admiration, but sometimes the offense is too serious and the person never changes. Other times the person does really make serious changes and things get back on track, but that can take time.

Jen said...

The Lord does not call us to forgive and forget...that is an adage that has been used over the years, and I dare say a stupid one. There are still consequences to all we say and do. A relationship being permanently altered is one of them. Take King David for example. After he was forgiven by the Lord for his sin, he still suffered the consequences - his son died, and he walked with a spiritual "limp" for the rest of his life. Those were the consequences of his sin...but he was definitely forgiven. You can forgive someone, and still be wise about protecting yourself from them in the future. That isn't wrong. I hope that helps!

Shari said...

I experienced some horrible abuse by my father as a child. I was very bitter for a long time. I forgave my father 15 years ago. I pray for him daily, pray for his salvation, and ask the Lord to repair our relationship so we are at least on talking level. My father hasn't chosen that yet, but I still pray. I will never forget what he did because it was life-altering and I have used my experiences to help other Christian women struggling with the same issues I had experienced what I was little. God has used it for His glory and for that I am thankful.

Alex and Jill said...

In my own life, I believe that true forgiveness is treating the person (the offender) as though it never happened. I've heard testimonies of people who have been hurt in such terrible ways and they were able to go back and forgive and truly treat the person as though they had never been wronged. It's not easy, but I believe it's a true picture of how my Lord and Saviour treats my sin. He forgets it and loves me as though it never happened. And He does it over and over again. It's Him that I strive to be like.

Colbert Family said...

I've been following your blog for a while now but haven't commented till now....

I don't think it's a sin. Jesus has called us to love others and forgive yes, absolutely true! But just because you have forgiven doesn't mean you forget the hurt from that person. I think it's very healthy to have boundaries. When something like this happens your relationship has changed, and isn't able to go back to how it was. Which is perfectly fine. You need to protect yourself and if you forgive and forget not seeing that things are different it's not fair to you or the other person. Each of you need to see that the rules have changed

Todd and Courtney said...

I have a hard time with this as year and don't even speak to a bridesmaid that was in my wedding, so I understand. I don't know the right answer but I do know that I forgive her but I could care less about ever talking to her again...perhaps I should care. I think God knows our hearts

Lilly, Matt, and Sara said...

A couple Sunday's ago my preacher touched on this very subject. Forgiveness does not mean you have to forget or go on with the same relationship as if nothing happens. One of the quotest that stuck with me was, "Forgiveness and Reconsiliation are not the same thing". I have the notes from the sermon if you are interested in more information. But, according to it--you can forgive someone and not forget or pick up at the exact same spot in a relationship.

Jen said...

It is like you are speaking right too me Jeanna! A family member and I had a falling out of sorts this past year and even though I am very hurt by some of the things she has said and done, I can't help but want to move on and get everything back to the way it use to be. But is that even possible? And is it fair for me to want that, even though I still have all these negative feelings about the situation? This is such an honesty question and I am not quite sure there is a perfect answer. I guess I just wanted to comment to let you know that I have thought the same things lately.

Angela said...

Jenna,
I have to agree with Jill on this one. Think of the Lord's prayers and asking for God's forgiveness as we have forgiven others.

That being said, I truly have a hard time with this area in my own personal life. I battle with not being able to forget and bitterness creeping in. As of late, my focus is trying to see the person who wronged me through God's eyes and to be used a God's vessel to show love to that person.

God's knows the desires of my heart is to forgive. I'll rely on His strength to help me get there as He sure is good at forgiving me!

mrstolli said...

I've recently had a situation in my life that is exactly what you're talking about. As much as I wish I could forgive and just move on, it doesn't work that way. I have to daily ask the Lord to help me forgive the person and not pick up the anger and bitterness that so easily seems to creep back in. I agree with Jen, you can forgive someone and still be wise about protecting yourself in the future. Things aren't the same in the relationship with my friend, but it's getting better. Will it ever be the same, I'm not sure. Only time will tell. I pray that God will use the situation to bring us closer.

Boni said...

My dad used to preach to me about how Trust was EARNED! He used to tell me "It takes a moment to lose someone's trust, but a lifetime to gain it."

I truly believe that forgiveness is imparative to you. But, I also believe the two things above. It's very hard to say whether this is the right thing, but if you are straight forward with the person and tell them that you forgive them, but you don't trust them enough for things to be the same, then to me...that's doing the right thing.

LJFredricks said...

Forgiveness is not an emotion. It is something you have to work on. It does not happen all at once. That is what makes forgiveness so powerful

sara said...

I think you can forgive someone but not forget about what happened. There are always consequences to what we do. I had an incident wtih a friend about 8 months ago and although I have forgiven her, I don't think I will ever trust her again. I think I just saw her true character come out and that's not someone that I want to be close friends with again. I am polite when I see her but I have no interest and picking up where we left off.

Creekmore's said...

I could have written this post! I have really struggled with this the last 2 years. About 5 years ago, I had a falling out with a friend. Over time, we became close again - closer than before even - and then suddenly 2 years ago, I found myself being hurt in exactly the same way as before. Over the last 2 years, I have really struggled with forgiving her and moving on. I have made attempts to mend things to no avail. But I made an important decission this time. I will not be close friends with her again. I can not continue to open myself up to hurt. But I really struggled with this. If I forgive her - doesn't that mean I have to forget what she's done and go back to how it was before. After a lot of thinking, praying and searching, I don't think so.

I want to recommend a book I think you'll find very helpful. And it's a really good read. "Grown-Up Girl Friends" by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver. You'll like it because they are Siloam Springs girls. LOL But it really deals with a lot of these issues including forgiveness. But it also has a chapter on dealing with distructive relationships and when to walk away and when to fight to save the relationship. Another thing I really like is that it basis a lot of the book on the basket theory. Meaning, you have different types of relationships with different friends and finding where you place those friendships in your life. One of my best friends who now lives in Siloam sent me the book just after I started having problems with the friend and I didn't read it for a long time because I think I was afraid it would tell me I was in the wrong. But it really did me a lot of good to read it and work through a lot of my feelings on the matter.

kim_brough said...

Jesus told us to forgive 70x7 times but I don't think that once you reach that number you should stop. :) Depending on what person it is... there have been people in my past who were acquaintances or almost friends that I had to back away from getting closer to-- with no resent toward them in my heart really!!-- because I knew they weren't good for my mental health or my Christian walk. I want to surround myself with people who enrich my life, not make more work for me. Again, depending on who it is; it's not like you can change an inlaw, sibling, or coworker, but even then I think you can make some healthy distance for yourself.

God, My Savior Forever! said...

Hi Jenna,this is interesting because I had this same thing happen a coule of months ago with one of my best friends. She was accusing me of something I never did and was very hurtful. She gave me the cold shoulder several times. It was a trying time for me. I had to get on my knees and cry out to God asking Him to bring peace into my heart. I've forgiven her and had tried to leave it in the past. We are talking again and all but it's like not it used to be at all. I got to know a side of her I didn't know...the ugly I guess and it was not good. I feel that the trust has been broken. I no longer feel like I can confid ein her because I've seen her gossip about other girls. Almost as if I was blinded the entire friendship and now I get to see the real her. If you're forgiven the person and tried to move on I don't think you're sinning. Now if you hold a grudge and it continues to get under your skin...then you need to bring that before the Lord because you want to make sure that you don't dishonor Him. They told me that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we have to be eveyone's best friend. Friendships evolve, people change, move on and remember...some people are in your life for a season or a reason. I was devasted to see what our amazing friendship had come down to but I've started to see the light and realize that moving on is part of life and that change is good sometimes. She's still in my life but I've way more cautious and take it a step at a time...I've learned my lesson. I've grown from this experience to stand up for myself because I was not at fault. I will pray for you!

Trench Mommy said...

I agree with what Jen said (2nd comment) and I'll add some of my own beliefs, too. Regardless of someone asking for forgiveness and apologizing for their actions, we need to always be cultivating in our hearts forgiveness towards those that have hurt us. Forgiveness is more for our sake than that of the person at fault...although it does benefit them, too. You don't go around saying you forgive people when they hurt you...but when (if) they come to you, your heart is ready to offer them your forgiveness because you've worked on it with God in your own heart & mind. Usually your relationships will be affected. If someone steals from your house you may not have them over again and leave them unattended! Forgiveness means you are not going to hold the offense against them. So while your relationship may change slightly you also need to be careful that you are not still holding it against them. It sounds hard. It IS hard. It's impossible to do without the Lord. You CAN'T do it. It will be God working through you to truely forgive.

Hilary said...

I know how you feel..My sister in law and I have not spoken in months because of not totallty forgiving each other....sometimes it's hard to totally forgive and forget. I know that sounds so shallow but I guess it just depends on the situation too.

overlapped said...

I think true forgiveness is refusing to hold something against someone, and trying to accept them in love and mercy. It does not mean that you shouldn't be wise about how to continue in a relationship (i.e., trust has to be earned - and SHOULD be earned). Consequences are real, and we shouldn't gloss over them...

We forgive others because the Bible tells us to, and also because we are often the ones most hurt by holding a bitter grudge. Forgiving allows us to release the pain and the anger, event though it may still be painful. But we are never required to forget and plow on as if nothing happened. :)

Guy and Julie said...

Well put. I think that you can definitely forgive without going back to a relationship the way it was. We've talked about this.. :) Some relationships are harmful, destructive, and/or negative, and I don't believe God expects us to be in that type of friendship/relationship. Granted, another person can always change. But until that happens, I don't think we should put ourselves into a compromising place just to "prove" we've forgiven someone.

Bethany said...

In my opinion, I believe that God is the only one perfect enough to forgive AND forget. That's why we (as Christians) are taught to try to model ourselves after His son. I think all we can do is get to the point where we feel that our forgiveness is sincere...take that step...and be okay with not being able to truly forget.

cheryl said...

Jenna, pray for this person daily...really pray...and watch our GREAT GOD change your heart! It's one of those things that you don't realize until after it's happened...and you have a new attitude of your mind. BUT..you must rid yourself of selfish thoughts before...and THAT takes discipline. Not easy, is it?

The_Richards said...

Hey Jenna. This is my first comment to you so forgive me if it is lengthy but I love conversations concerning the word of God.

I think that forgiveness is a must when it comes to your walk with the Lord. Unforgiveness will keep you from fulfilling your destiny in the Lord. It is also a form of bondage. I think that not forgetting a situation can be good or bad. Good in the form that we should learn from our past and what we have been through and for lots of Chrsitians trials and tribulations form a stronger more rugged faith walk because you have been through some things and have come out refined. I personally don't want to forget the bad times because it makes me love the Lord for His goodness and grace that much more. The negative aspect of it is when you dwell on a situation so much that it prevents you from moving on. In that case I believe that true forgiveness has not occurred. A memory here and there is one thing, but to be consumed with a past hurt is detrimental to your current state. God's word says to press on towards the mark in the high calling... to keep your hand on the plow and not look back (Of course I am shortening the scripture and paraphrasing both).

Ultimately I do not think that not forgetting is a sin but what is in your heart concerning the matter. The word teaches us to guard our hearts so in using wisdom it is important not to forget so that you can protect yourself from falling into the same traps but in progressing in the Lord you MUST forgive an move past the pain and hurt so that you can be exactly who God created you to be unaltered in Christ.

Amy said...

Interesting topic... My husband just asked me almost the same question the other day because of his relationship (or lack thereof) with his mother. She's crazy (and really... I do mean crazy) and has driven a huge wedge between herself and my husband (because it was either that or succeed in what she was really trying to do which was to drive a wedge between he and I or he and his father). He had been stewing over this and analysing it for quite some time for many reasons... Honor they mother and they father, forgive those who sin against us, etc. He finally went and talked to our pastor about it and they had a great conversation about it.

It's like you said (and what I was telling him)... She is not going to change. No matter what we do, she's not going to change. So he can chose to 'forgive' her and move on without her in his life but there's no way that they can actually have a relationship. My husband prays for her daily and does not wish any harm on her, but they will never have a mother/son relationship. The pastor basically said the same thing.

And I feel like I've totally rambled... I'm sorry! :)

Shawna said...

I have followed your blog for a while and have prayed for you and your family. Thank you for this post Jenna. I am thanking God for it as well, as it has been heavy on my heart as well. I have an estranged relationship with my sister my whole life. Four years ago, things seemed to get better, as we both were walking closer to God. Then, it fell apart again. I have forgiven her and God has helped me through it. But, we do not have a "sisterly" relationship. I really have turned this one over to God and let him lead me to what I should and should not do, and not being around her seems to be the answer right now. It does not mean I do not love her and her family, I pray for them daily, but God does not want us to subject ourselves to hurt or abuse by other people. So, I feel we can forgive and even forget, but not be foolish and put ourselves back into the situation.

Lovin' my 5 blessings said...

I think we are supposed to try to forgive and forget the sins against us. As humans we can often find it in ourselves to forgive someone for their wrongs against us but we have a much harder time forgetting what they did to us. I am not sure that as humans we are able to completely forget but I think it is something we are supposed to strive for.

The reason I think this is because God commands us to try to become like him. He forgives us many many times each and every day and as long as we confess our sins and ask for his forgiveness, he will remember our sins no more.

We are to strive to be Christ-like in all we do! Everytime we must try to forgive and forget the hurts people and inflict on us will truly be a challenge. In fact I don't think it can be done without the help of God! We need to ask him to give us the strength to forgive and forget! Only God is able to truly forget, he alone can help us to forget and forgive.

TheDorothyFamily said...

I think sometimes friendships are for a season. Forgive, move forward (or move on.) Let time heal the hurt and quite possibly some day the season will come full circle and the friendship can be picked back up. Maybe not where you left off, but as a new more mature relationship.

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