Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sin and un-forgiveness

We all may be aware that God does not view any sin as greater than another sin. For instance, he doesn’t look at a murderer and say, “You’re worse than an adulterer or a thief.” But, for a lot of us, committing murder is a greater sin.

So what do you do when you get in a situation where someone has committed a sin against you that’s considered greater than other sins? You may easily forgive your son for stealing money from your purse, but will you be just as forgiving when your husband has sex with another woman?

I know that I can’t answer that question so easily. What I do know is that God expects us to forgive and that’s the bottom line. The gray area is how long it takes, what’s the process and what you do while you’re trying to forgive. In instances where it’s an unsafe situation: say your spouse or significant other is beating on you and abusing you. Of course you have to remove yourself from the situation, but you’re still stuck with having to forgive.

“Stuck…” Even I find that that’s an interesting word for me to choose. I’m just being honest, but when someone has committed an almost unforgivable sin against me or someone close to me I feel almost stuck – forced to forgive. Once the hurt and pain of betrayal has passed then I can move onto forgiveness. Not only because that’s what God says we should do, but for my own wellbeing and soul.

Some people find it easy to forgive others despite what was done to them. Others find it difficult to move on. It doesn’t make one person better than the other. We just have to realize that everyone does things in their own timing. As long as both people reach the same result then I believe God is just as pleased with the slow-to-forgive person as he is with the person who forgave quickly.

“So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” Matthew 18:35

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