Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Faith Blog

Our friend and fellow blogger, Ticker, has a nice piece on FORGIVENESS at his site.  Please check it out.

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."   Luke 6: 35-38

Have you ever had a particularly difficult time with forgiving someone?  Or yourself?  How did you get over it?  We have to remember that even forgiving the terrible slights we're confronted with in politics, on this blog and others by commenters, etc., also fall under the advice of "forgive."    It's not so easy sometimes, is it.



sue hanes said...

Z - You see so much about Forgiveness these days.

I Believe in Forgiveness - but I also Believe - that here comes a Time When You Have To Say To Yourself - ENOUGH.

This Has To Stop.

It Has To End Here.

What am I talking about - Z?

Mostly it's Personal - but Really it's just about Correctly Mistakes - when you can - and It's about Taking Action.

And then after that - Forgiving.

But sometimes - Z - These Mistakes Have To Be Corrected.

Know What I Mean - Z?

Anonymous said...

In advanced forgiveness class we learn to simply ignore the smites of others leaving nothing to forgive.

Silverfiddle said...

I thank God I have never been seriously wronged or betrayed by anyone. I know that anger and desire for revenge are corrosive.

I came back from my one year tour in the Middle East an angry vet seriously PO'd at our stinking politicians and the press, but I got over it. My hatred does nothing to them, but it will destroy my soul.

Ticker said...

Great post Z. The sign on the sidewalk is so important and so often forgotten. Forgive yourself. We can forgive others rather easily sometimes but forgiving self is too often a struggle.
So many illness are rooted in unforgivness and most do not realize that.

Thanks for the link.

Z said...

Sue, that's why I include forgetting, and how we needn't do that. We stay away from someone who hurts or a relative who insults, etc.
"Hurt me once, shame on you, hurt me twice, shame on me.." kind of thing.

WE should correct mistakes we've made to others, yes. and, hopefully, be forgiven by them, but sometimes it doesn't work and we have to forget and move on and just forgive ourselves and know we tried.

Cactus Mark, welcome and ...I believe a mature enough Christian can learn to ignore the smites but when I've seen that, I've seen cruelty or conceit connected on the part of that Christian, I hate to say.
It takes a hugely mature CHristian to ignore the smites as the come in and be kind and open to the smiter in spite of them, don't you think?

SF..."I got over it" is exactly what I'd like to know more about; how?

Ticker, you're right about illness related to hurts and unforgiveness.
It seems that Scripture's right when it says we really must forgive......for ourselves. He tells us so many times to "give it to HIM, this worry or hurt.." doesn't He.

beakerkin said...


This is why I prefer volume one to volume two. Volume one lets me feel great when I grab Ducky's jawbone and smite some commies.

Pris said...

There are degrees in which insults or thoughtlessness may take place. Maybe someone is having a bad day, or it's that person's nature to be mean spirited.

With the former, forgiveness is easy, and quickly forgotten. With the latter it's best to move on, and not make yourself a target for more of the same.

Then, there's betrayal, which is much more serious. It's probably possible to forgive that, but I would think, not easily forgotten, or ever would be.

Finally, I know a person who's son was murdered. She's been waiting 20 years for the killer to be put to death. He still sits on death row, after 20 years.

She wants to live long enough to see justice done. She can't forgive the murderer. Can you blame her? I don't. Her life was forever devastated. This most certainly cannot be forgotten.

We all have no doubt said things through the course of our lifetime we may regret. It makes us feel some guilt, or beat ourselves up.

So yes, forgiving ourselves is not easy. But this is how we develop a conscience, and try to learn to hold our tongue so as not to hurt someone unnecessarily, IMO.

We can all agree, none of us is perfect, but hopefully as we grow, we'll consider the ramifications of our behavior before we take take that plunge. Hopefully!!

sue hanes said...

Pris - I've never been in a situation like the Person you meniton whose Life was Devestated by a murderer.

But I wonder if she is not further devestating her own Life by waiting for him to be put to death?

Always On Watch said...

Unlike most in my family, I'm pretty quick to forgive. In my experience, forgiveness forestalls bitterness.

That said, forgiveness shouldn't mean that the one who committed the offense should not face consequences.

Familiar with the Amish view of forgiveness? The Amish do forgive, but they also exact righteous consequences.

Z said...

Aow, I believe that's true about you, though I don't know you THAT live your life in that place of forgiving, I can hear it in your voice on the phone, I can see it in your putting up with REAL DRECK comments at your blog. I admire you for it. And I hear it in your big, full laugh, which could come from not carrying around vestiges of old hurts.

Priscilla, I can't imagine forgiving if my child was murdered. Odd, though...the black boy who was killed at Chardon High (which one of our commenters list next to, by the way; I'll let her mention it if she feels she wants to because she's had a lot of experiences from that horrid event this last week) had a mom who immediately said she forgave the killer, that she'd taught her dead son to forgive and she couldn't be a hypocrite now. She said that her faith in Christ could only point to total forgiveness.
Obviously, she will NEVER EVER EVER forget.
I wish more of us were like her...that sure isn't me. But, we never know what we can rise to.

Not that I am ANYWHERE near the amazing example the boy's mother is, I guess I could have blamed Cedars Hospital for having messed with Mr. Z's draining of water in his chest just the day before he died (some say it was a coincidence, tho he wasn't 'expected' to die for another few years!) but I look at it as God's will because my husband was facing feeling rotten for the next 2 or 3 years with NO guarantees....
I have a tinge of sadness when I drive by Cedars, and even a stab of anger, but mostly, I know it happened at the right time somehow.
I have to believe that.

Sue, I think we must devastate our own lives when we carry that around with us..

Ticker said...

You are right Z, we can only give it to him.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

We forgive, we are releasing that burden of unforgiveness and giving it to Him. Until we do such we will continue to be burdened by what ever wrong that someone committed against us. It , as I mentioned,can literally make us physically ill and cause all kinds of emotional problems.

Ducky's here said...

I remember when my brother died suddenly and we found out he had left over 150,000 in debt.

His children were in turmoil and I took the little one aside and told her "I'm going to take care of you".

I paid his debts and got my sister in law out from under.

That's what was in my path. He was flawed, he was my brother and I have long ago forgiven him.

Bob said...

Good call, Ducky. You are a better man than I. God will not forget your unselfishness, and will bless you.

I have no problem with the forgiveness thing. I was raised that way, but, it is the judgement thing I refuse to observe.

How can I do through life without judging people for who they are, and protecting my family from those threats? Maybe the Scriptures mean something else, and I am misreading things.

I remember the admonition in Matthew 26:52 - ""Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

I think you can view this as judging people, using violence, lying, and any other way we hurt others. That verse, depending on interpretation can cover a lot of sins.

You still have to recognize a snake for a snake, and be willing to take necessary action.

Am I off base, here?

Bob said...

Cactus Mark: Cool Avatar. Wish I had thought of that one.


Ed Bonderenka said...

My heart is open to forgive, positionally.
I will not practically forgiven until asked.

Ed Bonderenka said...

I need a new keyboard.
I've heard testimonies on Focus on the Family from people who have forgiven (and even visit in prison), the murderers of their loved ones, bringing them to the Lord.
I hung my Savior on a cross.

Z said...

Bob, I think there's the difference between JUDGMENT and DISCERNMENT.

In Ducky's case, we can JUDGE that his brother wasn't thinking about others and killed himself via drug overdose (maybe it's another one)...we can discern that he was wrong and discern that we can learn from him never to do that.
To JUDGE him is wrong.

You make a good point, Bob...judgment is hard NOT to do. And we can't just think everybody's hunky-dunky, because they're not. We need to be discerning... that connects with FORGIVING vs FORGETTING, I think , too...

Ed, you're not the only one!

Jan said...

Z..I've always said that forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself.

It is well to forgive, since God says that to be forgiven, ourselves, we must forgive others, also.

It is not always that easy to forget, but still we must forgive.

I must say that over the years I have had many things to forgive, and when it was hard, I just told the Lord that I was willing to do it, with His help.

Forgiveness is a choice, after all.

I came to understand, too, that when it is someone that we love who harms us, that we can keep loving the person, but we do not have to continue to subject ourselves to more hurt from them.

In the case of some tragedy, such as murder, or other horrible things which may have been perpetrated against a loved one, we can only trust that God will avenge that, according to His own righteous judgement.

I understand, though, that we are all individuals, and not all of us act, or react the same to things that happen to us, and that it is easier for some, than for others to forgive,

Sometimes it is a long process.

In the tragedy here, I haven't heard any harsh statements made about what happened, as far as the individual who did it is concerned.

As you know, Demetrius' mother spoke of forgiveness for the young boy who took her son's live.

Last night, as we held the parents of Daniel in our arms, standing beside his casket, through their tears they said that God has been their strength.

Within the next few days, there will be two more funerals. There is a lot of hurt here, and a lot of lives turned upside-down, and I know there will be a lot of people searching their hearts for forgiveness.

Please remember them when you pray.

sue hanes said...

Ducky - I'm sorry about your brother.

That's very nice what you did.

Z said...

Everyone...Jan is talking about the CHardon High Tragedy...she lives very nearby and her husband works somewhere where a lot of the kids had brothers or dads who work there.
unbelievable tragedy.
Thanks, Jan...such a good comment.

Re Breitbart: I did hear from a friend that Alley was at their church this morning, which is great; other than that, they are all about being with ANdrew's family.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged."

I couldn't disagree MORE.

I make judgments every day. Many of the decisions I make, as I am a Patrol Sergeant, are life and death decisions. I make judgments every hour, every minute, every day.

At one point, it was a plus to have a "discriminating taste."

I will never stop judging. And, as such, if need be, I am ready and willing to BE judged for my decisions as a mortal, as a human being, as fallible.

NOT utilizing judgment has resulted in a PC environment and an atmosphere that accepts most anything and everything yet, at the same time, seems to dis-embrace honesty, courage, sacrifice, fidelity, morality, logic, proportion, reality, true conservation, love, savings, thrift.

Sometimes there is NO gray. Sometimes there is True GOOD and EVIL and sometimes EVIL simply has to be NAMED and FOUGHT and KILLED.

In my estimation, that comes about ONLY by utilizing JUDGMENT.

I am PROUD for "judging" EVERY day.


Z said...

Gad, BZ....judgments about what you do are FINE!

We're talking personal's not our place to judge another, to find them lacking, to be cruel about or to them!!

Judge all you want with your work. God judges if a heart is faithful, not us, right?

Pris said...

I think we all judge. When we choose to welcome a friend into our lives, we judge that person as to whether we want to befriend him/her or not.

Call it what you will, but, we do make those judgements routinely and often.

I have a relative who insists she's not judgemental, however, as I pointed out to her, "that is except for smokers, conservatives, and Christians".

Her answer was silence. We all do that depending on our values, and what we will or won't accept.

"But I wonder if she is not further devestating her own Life by waiting for him to be put to death?"

Sue, I see what you mean, but isn't justice important? She has not experienced justice.

Losing her son is what has changed her life forever, yet the person who took her son from her, has not received the punishment he deserved.

Who among us can say, we wouldn't feel the same way as she does. Justice has not prevailed in this instance. I can't say I wouldn't feel as she does.

It's too easy to make this an intellectual argument, unless we've been in her shoes. As for justice, it's too often dismissed by those who see this from afar, and not up close and personal.

sue hanes said...

Pris - Yes - Justice is Important.

I Believe that Justice should be done.

If that Person was found Guilty and Sentenced - then the Sentence should be carried out - within a Reasonable Period Of Time.

Not years later.

But in the case of the woman you mention - She should assume that Justice Will Be Done - and if she waits to get one with her Life until the Guilty party is Put To Death - isn't she punishing herself too?

Bunkerville said...

Forgive, but we do not need to forget. We do our enemies no benefit to allow them to continue taking advantage. IMO

Bob said...

Z: I think there is a fine line between discernment and judgement. It all depends on how you want to view a situation or an individual.

The only way I can make sense of the Biblical admonishment to not be judgemental is to be careful when comparing someone to your standards. They may fall short of your standards, but everybody falls short of God's standards. Therefore, it is silly to judge people. Leave that to God.

In BZ's case he has to make judgements everyday in situations most of us do not experience. From his viewpoint, he is paid to judge, and I agree with him on this.

Which case is judgemental and which case is discernment? Does the difference have to do with one being a case of personal relationships, and the other being a case of possible physical harm?

I think I will not worry about any difference, here, and endeavor to treat people with respect, and a certain amount of caution until I know their intentions.

Brooke said...

Forgiveness can be hard. I think one has to make the desicion to let it go.

Forgetting is another matter, though. That is really hard.

Z said...

Bob said "Z: I think there is a fine line between discernment and judgement."

But not in God's terms...not how God tells us not to Judge.
I can't explain it better than that and, perhaps as Bob implies, we really don't have to.

Anonymous said...

"It takes a hugely mature Christian to ignore the smites as the come in and be kind and open to the smiter in spite of them, don't you think?"

Yes I do. And it's a great place to be. It was my exploration of apocrypha texts from the early Christian movement that helped me gain such insight. I would encourage you to explore the gnostic side of Christianity. Take it to the next level kind of thing.

I've been reading your blog for a while. Just haven't commented :-)

Z said...

Glad to have you commenting, Cactus, thanks.

Come back and talk about gnosticism...please?