Bastardization of Forgiveness

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. – 1 Peter 2:16, ESV

wpid-20141007_082345.jpgNot without significant frequency (click here for an example post), I read of situations where forgiveness is abused to mean: “ignore the damage done to the faithful spouse.” The forgiveness wand is waved, and everyone is supposed to ignore that a soul rape (or rapes) has just taken place.

Truth about how God forgives our sin past, present, and future is utilized to twist this amazing miracle and gift of forgiveness to further abuse the faithful spouse.

Let me be clear: It is true. God does forgive our sins–past, present, and future. All sins can be forgiven.

However, it is evil to use this gift to invalidate the real damage the adulterous spouse has done to the faithful spouse–socially, spiritually, financially, and emotionally-through his or her adultery and lies. I do not see God offering this gift in order to be utilized in further victimizing the victims of adultery. That’s using a freedom God gave us to cover up doing evil as I Peter 2:16 warns us not to do. And I am confident God does not appreciate seeing His precious gifts employed in such a spiritually abusive practice.

Furthermore, Christian love dictates that we care about those who we wrong. Christians are called to be interested in restoring our relationship with such a brother or sister. In short, I do not see how a Christian can disembowel another Christian emotionally and spiritually and just walk away saying he/she is forgiven for such an act and need not concern himself/herself with suturing up the heart he/she has just grievously wounded through adultery. This is not love. In fact, I call it contemptuous hate. Such cold actions are incompatible with being a follower of Christ:

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. – I John 4:20-21, ESV

Forgiveness is given to restore relationships. It heals our relationship with God first, and it opens the door to a healed relationship with others.* To use forgiveness as a cover for contempt and hate is to misunderstand God and fail to grasp the heart of forgiveness.

It is a bastardization of forgiveness.

 


 

*Forgiveness is not the same thing as reconciliation or restoration of the marriage. Reconciliation is the full healing of such relationships, which requires rebuilding trust and mutuality from two persons minimally.

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