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30 Minutes a Day - Day 22

I am a MendingtheSoul.orgI am a Certified Facilitator with MendingtheSoul.org. The last session of our spring support group will take place this week. FORGIVENESS IS THE TOPIC. Many Christians are confused about the connection between forgiveness and abuse.


What God shares with us about forgiveness needs to be clarified. The Holy Bible is God's way of communicating with us. How does relational healing work? Despite its imperfections, it is courageous. Relationships can only heal (or even form) if you are honest and vulnerable. Before your wounded heart can heal, you must be honest and vulnerable with others.


You'll hear a lot in the Christian community that we should have forgiveness. What does that look like? The primary Greek verb (the original Bible was written in Greek and Hebrew) in the New Testament generally conveys the idea of "letting go". Let go of the obstacles that prevent you from living your life with purpose and eliminate your negativity.


"Letting it go" doesn't necessarily mean if your child was molested by a teenage cousin, along with other neighborhood children that you shouldn't phone law enforcement. There are harmful models of forgiveness. Forgiveness, trust, reconciliation, and eliminating the negative consequences are not necessarily one package. This happens way too often! This is why abuse survivors don't want to go to counseling. At MendingtheSoul.org we never say whether abuse survivors should forgive the abuser. It's not my decision to make. It's theirs.


We know that the Bible describes forgiveness as the removal of debt. Most of us know the Lord's Prayer - "and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sign against us." It doesn't mean there aren't negative consequences for sins. It doesn't mean the abuser is automatically given trust and invited to the family birthday parties.


An example of this is in the Bible - Numbers 14:20-23. The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them as you asked. Not one of them will ever see the and I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated Me with contempt will ever see it."


And what about David's sexual violation of Bathsheba and murder of her husband? David repented. Nathan, the prophet told him that God had forgiven him and yet horrible consequences came from God. Evil was raised up against David from his own household.


In classical Greek, forgiveness meant "to release", "to let go", "to send away" and "to cancel".


It's not just "to let go". It's complex.


In Luke 17:3 and 2 Corinthians 2:7, forgiveness is entirely contingent on the repentance of the offender.


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