Forgiveness is such a huge part of Christianity that Jesus gave His life for it. He died so that we could live guilt free of our past, present, and future sins. But just because we are already forgiven for our sin doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it again. Repentance, according to scripture, is not a suggestion for us but a requirement. We don’t need to ask for forgiveness when we sin, we just need to change. Forgiveness comes from God, but trust comes with time.
You need to forgive the people who hurt you, but that doesn’t mean you need to trust them. Many people stay in unhealthy friendships or relationships because they have a distorted view of love. Love doesn’t let you do whatever you want but it directs you to do whatever is right. Most people would not stay in relationship with a friend if that person continued to hurt them. Not only is it vital to forgive that friend for what they’ve done to you, but it’s also important to let him/her know that if there are no changes in their actions, your friendship will suffer.
Forgiving people for their wrong doings without requiring them to change produces ungodly relationships. If Gods kindness leads people to repentance, we need to let our kindness toward our offenders lead them to repentance as well. Forgiveness and repentance go together like peanut butter and jelly. Forgiving someone without talking with that person about what’s hurting you is like eating peanut butter and waiting for the jelly that will never come.
Forgiveness without repentance leaves you wanting an apology from the other person that you’re never gonna get. Healthy confrontation, which inspires repentance, is the jelly that exuberates a relationship not only by resolving conflict, but also by pacifying the dry unsatisfied desire left by the peanut butter of forgiveness alone. Before you can expect an apology, you need to first communicate through Gods kindness that there’s a problem. Only through the kindness of God will our relationships flourish the way He intended them to. Forgiveness brings healing to a broken relationship, but repentance restores it’s intimacy.
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