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Do you have to earn forgiveness? (spin off question)

Before you can forgive someone must that person earn your forgiveness? It seems if we wait for every person who does wrong must earn your forgiveness a person will walk around with a lot of grudges. Now respect, I can understand how that has to be earned.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:57 AM on Feb. 6, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (12)
  • No... Grace is merit undeserved. You forgive because He forgave you. We do not ever deserve God's forgiveness but because He is Grace and He died for us on the Cross He was able to forgive. We are to forgive and extend that same grace God gave us.

    What a friend did to me 8 months ago.. I had the choice to not forgive her and then it would allow bitterness and hatred to come in or choose to forgive and allow God's healing for both of our hearts to begin. I chose to forgive. I chose grace . I choose Love.
    Forgiveness doesn't need to be earned but trust does.

    Read Matthew 18:21-35

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 12:07 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • How many times do you forgive someone who keeps stealing from you? Are you required to forgive them only to watch them come back and steal again next week?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:16 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget, NotPanicking, nor does it mean you let them be repeat offenders.

    THAT would be stupidity.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 12:37 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • And to answer the OP, no, you don't have to "earn" my forgiveness. While it's always a plus to hear someone apologize for their wrongdoing, it isn't a must. I've forgiven a lot, and I'm glad I did. My not forgiving someone would only hurt ME. If someone has wronged me and is not even willing to apologize, then they probably aren't suffering from a lack of forgiveness.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 12:39 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • Grace is the greatest givft you can give and the greatest gift mankind recieved.

    Answer by sati769leigh at 12:49 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • no, forgiveness is more for the person wronged, than the offender. you carry around hate & a grudge and it starts to weigh you down. forgiveness means you no longer hate the person for what they've done, but it doesnt mean you have to be close to them again.

    now to totally forget what that person did has to be earned imo. i see forgetting as trusting that person in that situation again.

    example: i forgave my brother for slamming the van door on my neck when we were kids. but it took me months before i would exit the van without watching him closely. but now if we are in a van together i wouldnt think twice about it, b/c he's proved to me he wouldnt do it again. (this is a very minor example, but i hope it gets my point across).

    Answer by okmanders at 1:08 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • Forgiveness doesn't mean you forget, NotPanicking, nor does it mean you let them be repeat offenders.

    That's awfully presumptuous to assume it is within your power to "let" them do anything. My question has nothing to do with what you "let" them do. If someone repeatedly steals from you every chance they get, do you forgive them every time?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:25 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • NP, I honestly can't think of a single scenario where someone would repeatedly steal from me. If that were an issue, I'd simply drop them from my life.

    I guess I sort of see your point, though. If they are STILL doing the thing you forgave them for - then, no, I don't suppose you "have" to forgive them. Example: I didn't forgive my molester amidst the time frame which I was being molested. I don't believe I could have done that. I forgave him AFTER the fact.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 1:29 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • No, but if they want to be in my presence they have to truly "repent'. Forgiveness does not mean I have to allow a person another chance to hurt me.

    Answer by Lexylex at 2:38 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

  • No you have to ask for it.

    Answer by rhanford at 3:17 PM on Feb. 6, 2010

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