Time-limits on repentance and forgiveness

Sometimes it takes me days, weeks, months or even years to look back and truly feel remorseful for something I may have done or said. Does Jesus care how much time you have to sincerely repent? Forgiveness is very difficult for me. I do not fully understand what it means. I used to be like a child, I think I can forgive, forget and reconcile. It is hard to forgive when people deliberately hurt you. I used to make excuses for other people’s behavior. Some things people do change your perspective of them and you can never trust them again. Is forgiveness an overnight process, or is how long should it take?

You can tell me how God forgives me even though I sin. That just does not change the way I feel. It annoys me how some Christians forget they are dealing with an actual human and just quote scripture.

Life is filled with big and little disappointments. It is easy to state “forgive our sins as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

God may forgive us immediately once we ask. Or I think? I guess it some memories are hard to shake off as easily.

As an adult, people seriously hurtful. I remember when as a child I could forgive easily for people not wanting to play with, steal my toy. Forgiveness was easier. It is not so easy, with things like lies, infidelity, gossip, revealing personal secrets, sabotaging your relationship. People are cruel.

Our Lord is the Searcher of Hearts, and he knows if your intention is to forgive. Forgiveness can take time and is often something you must do daily, over and over again. But God sees this process occurring in your heart. You are not denying forgiveness but are trying work towards it. There is no time limit to this process.

Our Lord sees every action and intention. Nothing escapes His notice, and He will deal justly with those who hurt others. But this opportunity to forgive can be a powerful way to reflect God’s mercy. We are not expected to forget, but we must let go of the destructive anger and bitterness. When I struggle to forgive, I imagine Jesus enduring the humiliation and pain of His Passion. He was spat upon, mocked, and died an agonizing, public death, and yet He forgave those who tortured Him. People can be cruel indeed. But every time you make up your mind to forgive, you are agreeing to take up your cross and follow Our Lord. That is all He asks for - a sincere effort.

God is quick to forgive because He is perfect. He knows we are not and is very patient with us.

Forgiveness is an ideal that’s hard to realize. Forgiving people who deliberately hurt you is difficult; you should strive to do it more quickly.

Forgiving someone does not necessarily mean that you go on to trust them again. You could forgive someone for wronging you, but based on what they did, it may be imprudent to trust them. For example, if someone stole your wallet in the past to buy drugs, without knowledge that they had substantially made amends, it would be imprudent to lend them your credit card. But you can still forgive them for what they have done.

In my faith, the way forgiveness works is first we resolve to do much better from now on. Then we try to make recompense. If we damaged someone, we try to make it up to them. If they don’t want to know then that’s up to them.

Then we ask God to forgive us. And God always will. When we ask, he removes our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west” (psalm 103).

That is God’s gift to us. We accept the gift by thanking Him and moving on. If we can’t or won’t move on, and instead hang on to guilt and remorse, then we’re refusing His gift.

He redeems you. He redeems others even when you don’t. Accept it and move on.

:twocents: on forgiveness:

Justice belongs to all loving God. He will make it right. It is up to us to do good.

Romans 10:19 - Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

I think forgiveness involves trying to redefine the relationship from where it is being taken it, and try to establish one that is built on love and mutual respect.

Matt 5:38-40 "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

We cannot control the behaviour of the others and therefore loving, the giving of oneself leaves one vulnerable.
This is not to say that one is to give the abuser carte blanche to beat you up and take all your possessions. In fact, if one acts in a masochistic fashion, it will probably incur more sin. In this case, this becomes enabling and will not will not establish the loving relationship that is being sought.
The bottom line I guess is to love one’s neighbour. It is hard, but with prayer, the particular circumstance will dictate how one should act.
These situations are very helpful in learning to be a more loving person, btw.

The thief on the cross was at death’s door before he repented.


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