When forgiveness and accountability meet

Started by Bryan, December 07, 2018, 03:51:01 PM

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Bryan

Been awhile, just trying to talk about something I thought of earlier.

What does it look like when someone offends or harms us, and our response to said actions.  Forgiving them while holding them accountable.  Is such necessary or biblically encouraged?

IOW, when we tell someone we forgive them is that a free pass for them to continue harming us or are we also allowed to hold people accountable for their actions?

I've heard it said that Jesus didn't call down judgement on people who crucified him so we as believers shouldn't want punishment for our offenders etc.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

jiminpa

Forgiveness is an important topic. Jesus tied us being forgiven to how we forgive. God is both merciful and just, so He forgives, and for those who receive Jesus's payment our sins are not remembered and His justice is satisfied by Jesus's sacrifice. For everyone else His justice is not satisfied and He will poor out the full measure of His wrath at the appointed time. I know you know all of that, and I am just reminding you of the context of forgiveness.

In practical terms, when Jesus walked as one of us He very often deferred judgement until the final judgement, but He did not accept the abuse of the pharisees until it was time to lay Himself down.

I think it was Paul who made the distinction between just punishment and persecution, and I think that it is wise to know the line between forgiveness and enabling. When my parents were murdered I had to work to forgive the man who did it, but I have never felt it is okay to for him to not face the appropriate civil penalty.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

DavidMcClean

Quote from: jiminpa on December 08, 2018, 01:14:37 PMForgiveness is an important topic. Jesus tied us being forgiven to how we forgive. God is both merciful and just, so He forgives, and for those who receive Jesus's payment our sins are not remembered and His justice is satisfied by Jesus's sacrifice. For everyone else His justice is not satisfied and He will poor out the full measure of His wrath at the appointed time. I know you know all of that, and I am just reminding you of the context of forgiveness.

In practical terms, when Jesus walked as one of us He very often deferred judgement until the final judgement, but He did not accept the abuse of the pharisees until it was time to lay Himself down.

I think it was Paul who made the distinction between just punishment and persecution, and I think that it is wise to know the line between forgiveness and enabling. When my parents were murdered I had to work to forgive the man who did it, but I have never felt it is okay to for him to not face the appropriate civil penalty.


If you still want justice then you have not forgiven and are not acting in love.

Love keeps no record of wrongs, love covers a multitude of sins.

You need to apply the words you say you believe.

jiminpa


1 Peter 2:20 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
[After all] what [a]kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.

God does not condone sin, and neither should His followers. To want a murderer to not face a penalty for cold-blooded killing devalues what God holds dear--innocent life, and while my parents weren't the greatest humanitarians on the planet, as far as anyone knows, they were quite innocent in the matter that got them killed. In addition, that man is extremely callous. He has no qualms about killing anyone at all, just for beer money. Can you be sure that the next people he would kill would not have young children to care for? I can't, and I've met him. God wants him with Him in eternity, so I do too, but I don't want him walking the streets.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

jiminpa

Bryan, how would you answer that question if it was someone you love dearly in the situation you ask about?
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

DavidMcClean

December 09, 2018, 03:15:56 AM #5 Last Edit: December 09, 2018, 03:50:24 AM by DavidMcClean
"In addition, that man is extremely callous. He has no qualms about killing anyone at all, just for beer money".

Would it be different somehow if you said "that man is extremely callous. He has no qualms about killing anyone at all, just to be able to feed his three hungry grandchildren".

Sorry - but you're justifying the fact that you are judging his motives which only HE knows about.

The crime may be horrible - I'm sure it is....but you DON'T know how he feels. In light of your scriptures you have no right - nada - none - to make a judgement on his inner life. How would you feel if he became a Christian, walked up to you in the street and beamed that he was so excited to be going to heaven?

O but that would NEVER happen....would it?

Be honest with yourself. This is exactly the same thing that happens in the book of Jonah.....

Personally speaking I'd be very pissed off with God, and want the guy in question to fall into my hands so *I* could kill him slowly and painfully. If God decided to save Him, then I think He and I would have a serious falling out.....

You're judging from external result, and using that to reach a conclusion that justifies how you feel.

Your bible says that "God desires truth in the inward parts". Would it not be better to start from a position of honesty rather than dressing up how you feel?

Doesn't it sound kind of like, O I don't know..... "You have been looking for an excuse to hate everything for a long time, and when you couldn't find one, you created one on your own. Congratulations! you are now your own god, and your god is a fool. One day you will face the real God, and you will know exactly how morally inferior you are, and still cling to your arrogance as it drags you to the abyss.".

Wasn't that what you told me in another thread? Telling me what I think, what my motivations were, then writing me off and damning me so you could feel better about yourself in that situation? Didn't Jesus say that if you call another man a fool that you're in danger of the fires of hell?

....judging the inner thoughts of another person based on your own standards?

The fact that you're asking Bryan how HE feels is just deflecting the whole conversation. Who (respectfully) cares what Bryan thinks? HE asked OTHERS how THEY would feel so he could get some reference point in the situation.

Not too many years ago I went to a Christian counsellor. Naturally he wanted to know all about my life and so I told him in detail my story. When it came to the raging anger I felt about my abuse he looked me in the eye and asked, "Have you ever shaved or worn a T shirt with mixed fabric?". I had no idea where he was going and so I replied "Of course" *shrug*. His next statement to me was then "So...you've broken the Old Testament laws....who made YOU the judge since you're just as guilty?".


In response to Bryan's original question - 

"What does it look like when someone offends or harms us, and our response to said actions.  Forgiving them while holding them accountable.  Is such necessary or biblically encouraged? 
IOW, when we tell someone we forgive them is that a free pass for them to continue harming us or are we also allowed to hold people accountable for their actions?"

Jesus said that if your brother sins against you 70 times 7, that you are to forgive. The fact that you or I have a brother who has presumably wronged us so many times means we'd be an idiot not to predict it happening again. "O here comes Bill again *sigh*.....I wonder what he wants this time". But we're told to forgive. NOT to judge.

Did I follow this command when I was in the faith? NO! To be blunt it pissed me off immensely that I was NOT ALLOWED to get my revenge, or even hope that they'd get a divine smack on the day of judgement. 

At a guess....could this be what it says that because of offenses the love of many will grow cold? On human terms it is horrible....to contemplate that the very people who have treated us the worst will somehow find their way into God's good graces and there's not a damn thing we can do about it......

Pete

This is a great topic, which sadly I do not have the time to give a proper response to at the moment. So until I do, I'll refer you to this post I wrote many years ago on the topic of forgiveness entitled 2 minutes and 56.19 seconds.

:afro:
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

Bryan

Quote from: jiminpa on December 09, 2018, 01:20:27 AMBryan, how would you answer that question if it was someone you love dearly in the situation you ask about?

That's a fair question my friend.

I think the margin between the two is razor thin to be honest.  Forgiveness has an element of forgetfulness.  For I cannot truly have forgiven someone if I'm constantly gearing for revenge and holding grudges.

At the same time, actions do need accountability.  Even in the Bible with forgiveness being taught there was accountability.

King David had this issue twice, God forgave him twice, but also held him accountable. 

Now Paul seemingly had no issue forgiving and forgetting, minus the time he yelled at the High Priest, but that's the exception.

I think it's possible to forgive completely and still hold people to an accountability standard.  I think of an account manager who misuses funds.  A person can forgive them, not hold a grudge and honestly wash their hands clean of the situation but still hold them accountable by firing them/replacing them.

Forgiveness isn't an excuse/empowerment for abuse.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Pete

So I think there are actually three things in play here when talking about forgiveness. Those are;

  • Forgiveness
  • Repentance
  • Reconciliation

There is no doubt in my mind that we are called to forgive. However, when someone wrongs us, there must also be repentance for there to be reconciliation.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we have to allow someone to continue to hurt us. It means that even though they may have done something to willfully hurt us, we let it go. It does NOT mean that we must allow them to continue to hurt us.

There can be forgiveness without repentance, but there can be no reconciliation without repentance. This is what we believe concerning the forgiveness of our sins. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He forgave our sins, but we still must repent so that we can be reconciled back to Him.

So in response to your OP, I would say that it's not on us to hold people accountable for the wrongs they've done to us. It's our responsibility to forgive them. It's their responsibility to repent and accept accountability for any wrong they've done.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

Quote from: Pete on December 12, 2018, 11:06:36 AMSo I think there are actually three things in play here when talking about forgiveness. Those are;

  • Forgiveness
  • Repentance
  • Reconciliation

There is no doubt in my mind that we are called to forgive. However, when someone wrongs us, there must also be repentance for there to be reconciliation.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we have to allow someone to continue to hurt us. It means that even though they may have done something to willfully hurt us, we let it go. It does NOT mean that we must allow them to continue to hurt us.

There can be forgiveness without repentance, but there can be no reconciliation without repentance. This is what we believe concerning the forgiveness of our sins. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He forgave our sins, but we still must repent so that we can be reconciled back to Him.

So in response to your OP, I would say that it's not on us to hold people accountable for the wrongs they've done to us. It's our responsibility to forgive them. It's their responsibility to repent and accept accountability for any wrong they've done.

O0
Nice synopsis of forgiveness on a personal level, Pete.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

Bryan

Quote from: Pete on December 12, 2018, 11:06:36 AMSo I think there are actually three things in play here when talking about forgiveness. Those are;

  • Forgiveness
  • Repentance
  • Reconciliation

There is no doubt in my mind that we are called to forgive. However, when someone wrongs us, there must also be repentance for there to be reconciliation.

Forgiveness doesn't mean that we have to allow someone to continue to hurt us. It means that even though they may have done something to willfully hurt us, we let it go. It does NOT mean that we must allow them to continue to hurt us.

There can be forgiveness without repentance, but there can be no reconciliation without repentance. This is what we believe concerning the forgiveness of our sins. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He forgave our sins, but we still must repent so that we can be reconciled back to Him.

So in response to your OP, I would say that it's not on us to hold people accountable for the wrongs they've done to us. It's our responsibility to forgive them. It's their responsibility to repent and accept accountability for any wrong they've done.

O0
All good points 👍
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us.  He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

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