Forgiveness...Is it selfish?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by devilslayer365, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    So, I often hear people say we should forgive others when they wrong us because it releases bitterness and anger from our lives when we do so. Basically, it benefits us emotionally, spiritually, and even physically (by reducing stress, which affects our bodies) when we forgive. That makes me wonder, then. Is it kind of selfish to forgive others? I mean, if we're doing it for US, isn't that the definition of "selfish?"
  2. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    You aren't doing it for you. You are doing it because God commands it.

    The release of bitterness and anger is just a nice side benefit that God worked in.
  3. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    And I'm sure God commands it of us for one reason or another. I suppose we could speculate on the "why." However, it makes me wonder how do we know when we've TRULY forgiven somebody? Does forgiveness of a certain offense require that we have absolutely no negative feelings ever again towards the person who wronged us? If those feelings do pop up does that mean we haven't truly forgiven them? How do you make the negative feelings "go away?"
  4. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Are all good things secretly bad things?
  5. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    That depends on the denomination.
    Scooby_Snax and ProDeo like this.
  6. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Or is it that all bad things are secretly good things?

  7. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    There is a mistaken belief that choosing to forgive lets perps "off the hook" and somehow minimizes the offense and damage caused.

    The exact opposite is true.

    In order to forgive properly, you have to first acknowledge the true extent of the offense and the actual damage that was done and the actual pain that was caused. You have to be honest and rigorous in your assessment of what actually happened and who was actually hurt and to what extent. Then the work of forgiveness can begin.

    Forgiveness is truly powerful because it minimizes nothing and infiltrates through the fluff and the excuses, all the way to the depth of the pain and the actual damage that was caused.

    Forgiveness validates the victims and must be as encompassing as the sin, or it's not forgiveness.

    Besides it's a 2-edged sword, because in seeking to forgive another human being I quickly realize how much damage I have also caused to others, and this should motivate me to not only extend forgiveness, but seek it also. Because I, too, am a sinner and a work in progress.

    You know you've truly forgiven when the pain is gone and when there is freedom and you are willing to reconcile. Insofar that the other person is willing to no longer cause pain and change their behavior and work on growing the relationship rather than destroying it.

    God doesn't forgive us for forgiveness' sake. Forgiveness is simply the path to reconciliation. If reconciliation isn't your goal, then don't bother trying to forgive because you're doing it wrong. You're not forgiving for you or for them; you're forgiving so that you can build relationship and community. Forgiveness is not at all selfish; it's necessary and will continue to be for as long as we're sinful and human and weak.
  8. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    I don't know about that, but the reason I asked the question is because humans often are guilty of doing "good" things with selfish motives. Just wondering if that could apply in the case of forgiveness.
  9. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    I don't believe reconciliation is always a good thing. A child that has been sodomized by a child molester probably has no desire to associate with their rapist even if they do manage to forgive them. Nor do I think they should be pressured to do so in an effort to demonstrate they've "truly forgiven them."
  10. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    It is probably impossible for anyone to perform a truly altruistic act. Except for Jesus.
  11. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    This is what you actually read into what I wrote?


    Repentance is still an actual thing, you know. It's obviously the other side of the forgiveness coin.

    Also, forgiveness doesn't cancel out justice or consequences. If you believe it does, then you really don't understand it.

    i was abused. I was molested. When that person died, I felt nothing. I had no desire to be around them. Because they had made zero effort to actually repent. Had I forgiven them? Yes; truly, from the bottom of my being; years before they died. Was I wiling to reconcile? Yes I was. Was I willing to reconcile under any circumstances, without that person being willing to even acknowledge their sin/crime and face the consequences and submit themselves to the process of justice?

    In a pig's eye.

    C'mon now. Really?

    There are still things required of the sinner. God has done His part. Jesus isn't dying again. We have to still do our part. And our part is repentance. And after we repent and then receive God's free forgiveness, to go on and do righteousness instead of continue in sin.

    If Saul hadn't repented from being a murderer, there wouldn't have been a Saul. He wouldn't have been an apostle. Even though Jesus had already forgiven him.

    The people who crucified Jesus were still judged even though Jesus Himself forgave them and asked the Father to forgive them also.

    Forgiveness never cancels out justice. It never absolves anyone from having to actually repent in order for reconciliation to actually happen.

    Not ever. Never ever ever ever in the history of ever. Not even a little bit.
  12. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    Well, that's great that YOU were willing to reconcile with the person who molested you. Not everybody that's ever been molested shares that desire, however. Even when the molester has repented and shown remorse (whether the remorse was real or not is another matter). I think reconciliation is nice when it can happen. I don't think it's a requirement, though, to demonstrate the one sinned against has truly forgiven. God expects us to have wisdom. Sometimes it's wise not to be reconciled with others that may, or may not, have truly repented from their wrongdoing. As an adult, you have the right to want to reconcile with somebody that sexually abused you when you were younger if you so choose. A child, however, who is vulnerable, should never take it upon themselves to be reconciled with their abuser. At least not while still a child. They should not be put in the position of possibly being abused again by somebody who SAYS they're sorry and it'll never happen again.
  13. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Forgiveness isn't cost free. Its tremendously personally expensive.
  14. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Indeed. It's a choice to absorb the injustice and pain and to cancel the debt that is owed.

    I understand that not everyone who was molested shares the desire to forgive. I would never judge anyone who decides not to. It took me decades to even admit what happened, open my mouth and let words come out, and this only after God very plainly asked me to tell Him what I remembered. I could only whisper it. But then ... freedom. I didn't need to have this dark secret any longer. It was so incredibly liberating. I had by that point already put an entire ocean between myself and the person who did it, and many years had already passed. I haven't told anyone else any details, but now I'm free to talk about it, and it doesn't hurt any longer.

    Because whom the Son sets free, is free indeed, you know?

    There's a price for freedom, however. You have to decide if it's worth paying. That's a decision people have to make between themselves and their own conscience. You can't force it. Because it's a grace that I believe only God can give to someone who is truly ready for it. There are people who love their state of perpetual victimhood. They would have to give all that up, and not everyone wants to actually do that. They would have to let the perp out of the emotional cage they've held him/her hostage in and accept this person as an actual human being standing in need of God, and as their equal. Not everyone wants to do that either. It's much easier to hold on to the "this person is an evil monster" narrative.

    You keep harping on this hypothetical child situation ... which I fully agree with you and I'm certain everyone else here would also, so I'm not sure if you want to continue talking about that? As you know by now I don't do hypothetical; only actual. I 100% agree that a child must be protected from a perp for as long as that perp is unsafe. I would also hope that the abuser would have to face consequences such as prison or whatever.

    As a side note, I wonder how many people would continue to molest children if the immediate consequence was for their nether bits to shrivel up and fall off. I personally think that needs to become a thing ...
  15. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    Most sexual molestation is not physiologically driven, but psychologically driven,

    Many molesters are impotent

    Shriveling would have little effect on many.

    And forgiving isn't about us, other than it demonstrating that we finally acknowledge that we have not rights to retribution of any kind, but that such power is Go's alone
  16. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Since God is the forgiver by definition, is He selfish?
  17. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    I don’t know that we can compare God’s motives for forgiving with our motives for forgiving.
  18. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    It's a good question nonetheless.
    We forgive because we are told to.
    God forgives because He wants to.
    So, is it selfish for Him to do it?
  19. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    Is it selfish for me to not want to kill myself while driving? We need to be careful to distinguish between self-concern and selfishness.
  20. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    Good point. What’s the difference between the two? Is there a difference?

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