Ask the Preacher
Sender's name: mg
I'm very aware of what God and Christ say about forgiveness. What I sometimes find trouble with is when people are told to forgive for things they do not know. For example, a girl may be promiscuos before marraige, lie to her fiance, then ten years later come clean. She then asks for forgiveness for lying about everything but won't expand on anything Your relationship is based on not only one lie but exponential lies attributed to the first Many, if not all preachers, support forgiving them of everything and to begin to trust again by using Christ as an example. We are repeatedly informed that God forgives the worst of individuals and we should forgive as God forgives, The argument being that if our sinful person is worthy of forgivenss in God's eyes, what gives us th right to not forgive others. Is it not true that God knows everything about your past and in your future? He knows where your heart is and was and what you were thinking, and so on. Does this not play a role in forgiving... knowing all? Is it also true that God asks for you to publically confess your sins to your brothers and sisters in Christ, If this is all true, why is it so hard for preachers, counselers, professionals, friends, spouses, to support a person who has been wronged and wants to know the truth, as much as he/she can ascertain, of everything before they forgive. Shouldn't that person have the otion to know what he is forgiving that person for, Should'nt that person who was wronged be able to set the boundries on how much information is enough for him to be comfortable in forgiving and learning to trust again?
Some verses about forgiveness are here:
"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matt 6:14-15)."
"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him (Luke 17:3-4)."
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you (Eph 4:32)."
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)."
Notice that we are to be forgiving as our Lord is forgiving. At the same time, Jesus said in Luke 17 that "if he repents, forgive him." It is not loving to let it go when someone is involved in habitual sin if they do not repent. Many sins can be a destructive addiction. One of the keys to overcoming sin in life is not just repentance, but confession. You see, the issue is not just forgiveness, but repentance. Forgiveness and accountability are not the same thing. If a Christian brother, sister, elder or minister insists that your be candid, open and honest, this does not mean that you are not forgiven. It does mean that they want you to remain faithful. As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
I am convinced that the one sin that will keep you in bondage is the unconfessed sin.
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:16)."
How can you be healed? Confession and prayer. I have seen this apply so many times to unhealthy addictions, whether it be pornography, adultery, drinking, or some other destructive sin. As long as it remains in the shadows, it will have power over you. But when you expose it to the light in confession, it loses much of its power and hold on you. If you really want to be free, then confession must become a spiritual discipline. Confess to God. Confess to an accountability partner. Confess to your brethren.
Yes, God knows it all, but that is not the point. Until you open the closet of your heart and expose the skeletons, they will remain a powerful force in your life. What do you have to lose by confession? Nothing of any value. If it is pride, remember that pride is destructive and in opposition to God. What do you have to gain? Forgiveness from God and freedom.
I cannot speak for brethren, but I do know the Bible is clear that when you repent, the brethren are to forgive just as God forgives. If you confess you sins, God is faithful to forgive you of your sins. When you confess your sins to each other, healing comes.
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