Sunday, July 18, 2010

Forgiveness Is Not Relieving the Other Person of Responsibility

Forgiving someone does not mean you are letting that person off the hook. The wrongs that have been done to you and to your children need to be righted, but it is not your responsibility to bring that about. God is a just and righteous judge. He is the only one who can judge and condemn a person for an unrepentant heart. This is not your job and should not be your job.

Doug Easterday explains what your responsibility is in forgiveness: "Forgiveness is getting your heart right with God. The people who have wronged you are still responsible before God for what they've done. You're not alleviating them of their responsibility. You're simply transferring it to God where it actually belongs. If you require them to answer to you, you have just the same amount of problems they do."

Harold Graham shares how his pastor once explained forgiveness: "When you forgive, it seems like you're taking that person off the hook. But what you're really doing is taking him or her off your hook and allowing God to put that person on His hook. As long as you have that person on your hook, you block God from that person and you also block God from you."

Your job is to be right with God, and not seek vengeance or retribution, or hold on to blame. You must let go of that person's wrongdoing so you can be right with the Lord.

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven" (Luke 6:37).

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