So i was thinking about forgiveness, about asking forgiveness, what is the biblical mandate on said practice and forgiveness in general.
There are lots of scripture references and secular stuff on forgiveness, from the offended persons standpoint. But not much from the offenders
Im thinking in the context of our church split and the people who left. But this could be for any situation.
After having conversations with a few people, I’m told any form of contact with (the offended people who left) would only be taken as hostile.
After the split, we (the remaining church body) went thru a peacemakers study. www.hispeace.org.
We had many a conversation about forgiveness and asking forgiveness. (while we should forgive whatever ‘evil’ was done to us in this split,
seen or unseen) the topics and justification for our answers were wide spread.
Do we ask for forgiveness if the other party doesnt want it?
Do we ask if they don’t know we did anything to harm them?
What if they won’t forgive us?
What if we are sorry and ask forgivensses but then sin against them again?
Do we ask forgiveness even if we meet with hostility?
Do we seek reconciliation?
Do we even apologize if no reconciliation is wanted?
Do we ask forgiveness for our own sake or theirs, or Gods?
Is asking forgiveness a selfish thing, to make myself feel better or to be right with God?
I’m feeling led to ask forgiveness for my own participation in whole split thing.
I cannot apologize for things others had/have done to these people,
but I can be accountable to what I was involved in.
I gossiped, I listened to gossip, i slandered people.
I can even justify most of it, but hate to.
Some sites I found on web:
I think most people apologize because they feel the need to be at one with other people.
Since we are all blessed with a conscience, we have an inner need to atone and to repair relationships that aren’t going well.
I think the best way for us to ask for forgiveness is in person with the one who we have sinned against and to ask for forgiveness for the specific sin that we have committed.
We need to ask with great sincerity and honesty and it needs to be accompanied by a change in attitude and behavior. If we merely apologize,
it will make ourselves feel good but it doesn’t truly fix the breach in the relationship with the person we have sinned against.
And therefore, apologies must always be attached to a change in behavior.
The best way to teach children about forgiveness is through example. Children do pay a lot of attention to their parents’ style of forgiveness and they usually imitate this style.
It is important that parents keep this in mind when they are interacting with each other or with their children.
Rabbi Robert B. Slosberg
Congregation Adath Jeshurun
IV. Asking forgiveness of others
A. Confessing ours sins to another – James 5:16
B. Asking forgiveness and seeking reconciliation – Matt. 5:23,24
C. Practical observations
1. Identify the basic offense – pride, greed, rebellion (selfishness)
2. Consider how to word your request
3. Determine method of presenting such – letter, phone, visit
4. What if they reject your effort of reconciliation? mock you? berate you?
i’m thinking this is secular, no bible references
Eight steps to biblical forgiveness
checking your heart, this is the best one yet
“Step 1: Confess specifically (make a list) what you did or said wrong that was sin.
It appears that the specific act of confessing sins (Leviticus 5.5, Numbers 5:7, 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9),
demonstrates godly sorrow, the knowledge of the sin committed, and the willingness to accept responsibility and consequences for your actions.
Step 2: Identify the biblical principle(s) violated.
In this step, the process of identifying the actual biblical values and principles that were violated helps all to learn from God’s Word,
and learn from their experiences. As a result, their witness encourages the whole Body of Christ to grow more holy. 1 Timothy 5:20
For help in seeking forgiveness see Eight Steps To Complete Forgiveness
Here is God’s Word that will help you and your fellow Christian get in touch with any wrong–they helped us… “”
**It goes on to list (in red) the wrongs we have done and should apologize for.
When I quickly go thru this list, Im humbled by all the things I
have done against them. And others, even my friends.
So, going back up to the asking forgivenss of others, i can identify the basic offense.
now I need to consider the wording of my request and which method.
Again, if I will be met with hostility, do I write a note, e-mail, call on the phone?
Do I tell them everything I said or did? I can’t even remember all what went on, I can just remember basics.
And about restitution? What do i do with that?
Does anyone have any experience in this realm? If so, help!!!
Wanting to live under Gods merciful grace, krislinatin