Can you be too forgiving or charitable?


#1

At what point do you stop forgiving? Like if your spouse continuously cheats on you. At what point are you too charitable? Like if you give your mortgage payments to the homeless.


#2

That is an excellent question.

The first part is easy. You are to always forgive. However, that does not mean you are a doormat. You can still separate from ones spouse and have forgiven them from the heart. I can forgive the guy who beat me up recently but that doesn’t mean I will hang out with him.

The second part is harder. This is where the virtue of prudence needs to mesh with charity


#3

[quote="cessnawag, post:1, topic:321949"]
At what point do you stop forgiving? Like if your spouse continuously cheats on you.

[/quote]

70 times 7? I think more problem comes from the belief that forgiving means forgetting as well. Yes, forgive and don't keep bringing the thing you have forgiven up in every discussion, but there is a point where someone either keeps hurting you in the same way (like continuous cheating) and while you forgive them, you remember what has been done and take steps to protect yourself from having it happen to you again.

[quote="cessnawag, post:1, topic:321949"]
At what point are you too charitable? Like if you give your mortgage payments to the homeless.

[/quote]

Running the risk that you yourself end up homeless? That does not help you or your family and would be very imprudent.


#4

I struggled too with distinguishing between being charitable and being a doormat.

I think one of the marks of true charity is that it aligns with justice. You can't give your mortgage payment to the homeless because it is not yours to give - it belongs to the mortgage company.

We always want to strive for forgiveness in all situations, for our own good. But as someone else pointed out, you can forgive but still remove yourself from a dangerous situation - an abusive spouse, a cheating spouse putting you at risk of catching HIV or an std. Remember that God wants the good for you; if someone else is causing serious harm to you, I have trouble believing that God would desire for you to not remove yourself.


#5

Can you be too forgiving or charitable?

Answer - NO you cannot be too forgiving or too charitable. However - forgiveness and charity can become disordered...Take the matters you mention below.

[quote="cessnawag, post:1, topic:321949"]
At what point do you stop forgiving? Like if your spouse continuously cheats on you.

[/quote]

As already pointed out, you never stop forgiving...but at the same time, Love requires that we desire the greatest good for the other. In the case where someone continuously sins through some "addiction" (including a sexual one) - the greater, and tougher, Love can require that one be honest and up front...and possibly even even separate from them so that they might come to realize their danger.

At what point are you too charitable? Like if you give your mortgage payments to the homeless.

I like the response above that says this money is not yours to give. it belongs to the mortgage company. You made a commitment...You need to live up to your word.

Giving to the poor is laudable...but is it acceptable to give to one while hurting another? Mortgage companies have employees who depend on your making those payments so that they can keep their jobs.

So - While one can never be tooo forgiving or charitable...ones thinking can become disordered. This happens when one loses sight of the highest good.

Peace
James


#6

Well stated.


#7

[quote="Caroline723, post:4, topic:321949"]

I think one of the marks of true charity is that it aligns with justice. You can't give your mortgage payment to the homeless because it is not yours to give - it belongs to the mortgage company.

[/quote]

I actually said "a ha" out loud. Thank you for your answer


#8

Bishop Sheen on false compassion might be helpful: youtube.com/watch?v=jXQP3UJnagM


#9

If you’re with someone who always cheats on you, it does require some action on your part. Separate if necessary, and let the other know that you will come back if they stop cheating. Then make sure they follow through. Maybe alot of marriage counseling as well.

Now, the second part. You’ve already been given good answers, mine would only be a repeat.


#10

'Forgiving' and 'continuing to put up with' are not the same.


#11

[quote="MaryT777, post:6, topic:321949"]
Well stated.

[/quote]

Thank you and bless you


#12

[quote="JRKH, post:5, topic:321949"]
Answer - NO you cannot be too forgiving or too charitable. However - forgiveness and charity can become disordered...

[/quote]

That's the answer in a nutshell.

"Giving away money" does not always and everywhere translate into the highest form of charity.


#13

Like love, honesty or faith, forgiveness and charity require limits to prevent their essential spirit from becoming corrupted parodies of the real thing. Even God sets limits on his compassion and mercy. You don’t earn forgiveness without remorse, and he’s not going to give you an extramarital affair because you pray for it.


#14

Some people, when they say, "Can you forgive me?" aren't in fact asking for forgiveness -- they're just soliciting permission to continue to mistreat the person they're accustomed to mistreating. A true request for forgiveness has to be accompanied by actions that show the person is trying to reform their behavior -- an angry husband goes to anger management classes and who is truly trying to do what he can might still have a flash of anger, as an alcoholic might fall off the wagon.

We have to be at least willing to forgive. Even if it's hard to do so, we can ask God to forgive the person and help us to forgive them -- also, we can ask God to give them the courage to combat their sins.

"Jesus never tires of forgiving, though we grow tired of asking for forgiveness." -- Pope Francis


#15

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