Forgiveness FAQ



Q. What conditions must someone meet before i should forgive her?


None. Forgiveness frees you and comes from God.


None - true forgiveness is a gift and it’s about you letting go of what happened so that you can get on with life.

Doesn’t mean you forget - some things you shouldn’t forget. Doesn’t matter if she chooses to accept your forgiveness, chooses to change, chooses not to.

Not unless you want to let her back in your life or into a situation where she can hurt you again. Then you should carefully consider whether she’s changed her ways.


Yes, i agree there are some sins which are humanly impossible to forgive, but as Jesus said, “With God, all things are possible.”


Would you say FF that every sin, no matter how evil, should be forgiven?


Thank you for your reply, LM. :slight_smile:

It seems, then that there might be two kinds of forgiveness, doesn’t it? For the kind of forgiveness i was considering was that which results in the restoration of a relationship. This is that of which you appeared to be speaking when you wrote

Not unless you want to let her back in your life or into a situation where she can hurt you again. Then you should carefully consider whether she’s changed her ways
The second kind of forgiveness that you mention is described by your words
None - true forgiveness is a gift and it’s about you letting go of what happened so that you can get on with life.

Am i correct in thinking you are speaking of two different kinds of forgiveness?


No - I’m distinguishing forgiving a person (letting go of what they’ve done to you) from either forgetting or trusting them again. You can forgive without doing the two latter things.


In an ideal world…Yes. As you say, it’s down to the forgiver!


Interesting, LM. It appears i might not have a good understanding of what forgiveness is. Perhaps i might learn from you. Please tell me, if it is not too personal a question to ask, do you consider yourself a forgiving person?


In general I think I am. Mind you I haven’t had many instances in life where I’ve been greatly hurt by anyone.


Wow, FF! I can think of some pretty nasty stuff that evil people do to those who are undeserving of the treatment they dish out. Is there absolutely nothing someone does to you for which you should withhold forgiveness?


True. Having experienced the emotial pain of betrayal and great physical pain, i’d have to say that, although different, it is hard to discern which suffering is greater.


forgiveness is not about her, it is about you and your relationship with God. What is your attitude toward wrongs done to you by another? If you chose bitterness, resentment and hatred over clemency, mercy and forgiveness you are rejecting God’s clemency, mercy and forgiveness for your own sins.


So, LM, if you had to define what is not forgiveness, i take it you would say forgiveness is neither forgetting the wrongs someone has done to you nor trusting a person. Am i understanding you correctly?



I find this puzzling! :slight_smile:

Are you saying that forgiveness has to do with your thoughts but not with your actions? or are you saying something else?


I think so, it’s like puzzleannie said, there’s a point at which you choose or manage to let go of the resentment and other emotions surrounding the event.

And even if you then decide that the person is untrustworthy or whatever that’s more of a dispassionate evaluating of where they’re at instead of an emotional reaction.


Now i’m really puzzled! First, LM, you said (1) forgiveness does not mean you trust the person again. Now you are saying (2) a person who forgives will trust the person again.

I’m sure there is a way to alleviate my confusion and come to a clearer understanding of forgiveness. This will be a good thing for me, for how can i know i have forgiven if i do not understand what forgiveness is?

Please tell me, LM, what conditions must be met before i can move from (1) to (2) and restore my relationship with the person?



Q. #2: Is forgiveness an act of love, or is it something else?


No, forgiveness is to do with your own attitude to events - moving from a bitter or resentful attitude to a stage where you accept and move on from what happened. In your own heart. You know you’ve forgiven someone when you can look back at the event without extreme anger, without a desire for revenge or anything like that.

Trusting the person has to do with how you act with them based on past behaviour and your present knowledge of them. I can forgive someone for hitting me, for example, and choose not to resent them for it, not to want revenge on them for it, things like that.

If they don’t accept that they’ve done anything wrong, and don’t show any signs that their behaviour is going to change in the future, I’ll probably choose not to be around them again, or to be careful when I am around them. If, on the other hand, they apologise and are genuinely sorry, go to anger management classes or do other things that show a determination to change, then I might relax again around them.

Are you saying you want to forgive this girl (which depends on you alone) or trust her again (which depends on whether she’s shown she can be trusted


Would you say, then, that forgiveness is an attitude of love but not an act of love? That is, does forgiveness only take place in the mind and is not in our words and deeds? What is your opinion, LM?


Its both. I don’t believe you can legitimately separate the two.

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