Sunday, July 25, 2010

What If the Other Person Doesn't Respond?

Sometimes people mistakenly think that forgiveness must be a reciprocal action, that you cannot be fully free unless the other person will accept the forgiveness offered. Even if the other person does not respond to you the way you had hoped, you still become free when you forgive.

"If you've been obedient to God's Word and have forgiven the other person and he or she fails to forgive you, the other person has the problem and has to deal with God. You're free," says Dr. Robert Abarno.

"There is a point where your involvement in the process stops," says Doug Schmidt. "After you have offered forgiveness and the opportunity for repentance, you are released from that that burden. You don't have to keep offering forgiveness, especially if it keeps getting rejected or mocked. There's a point where you say, I've done all that I can legitimately do and now I'm released from my obligation."

God honors those who have a sincere heart and who want to forgive and be forgiven. Do not let yourself be discouraged if the other person will have nothing to do with it. Continue to pray for that person, but move on in freedom.

"Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God" (Acts 13:38-39 NLT).

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