Forgiveness as Transaction

“We cannot forgive those who are defiant, however much we might like to. Because forgiveness is a transaction, if someone steals your car, you can’t run down the street after them, yelling out your forgiveness” (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 95).

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8 comments on “Forgiveness as Transaction

  1. What does “run[ing] down the street after them” have to do with forgiveness?

  2. Not sure if I’m following this.

    What precludes us from forgiving those who sin against us when they show no remorse? Cannot a rape victim forgive her unknown attacker? Did not Christ ask His Father’s forgiveness for those who crucified Him, despite their persistence in the deed?

    Sure, forgiveness between ourselves will ordinarily be one stage of a reconciliatory process following remorse, confession, and asking (or being asked) for pardon, but while the foregoing are certainly sufficient for forgiveness, I don’t see that they are necessary.

  3. When I read this in the book I couldn’t marry it with your dad’s advice in his excellent book on bitterness.

    I have for a long time considered whether we forgive everyone or the repentant. I thought the logic in Bitterness good and have come to the position we are to forgive people irrespective of their perspective. But you seem to say otherwise here. Perhaps you 2 differ on this but I wonder if I am missing something. I would appreciate it if you find the time to expand.

    Kind regards

  4. Bethyada, we differ on terminology, but not on content. I believe that we must be full of forgiveness, fully disposed to forgive if given an opportunity. And each person has to come to the point where that is settled (the point where they “forgive”). But the transaction cannot be completed without the repentance of the other.

  5. Doug said a little while ago that forgiveness is a character trait. Jesus’ character comes out on the cross in forgiving those who knew not what they did before they even thought to ask. And while we were yet sinners, Christ for us!

  6. [...] “We cannot forgive those who are defiant, however much we might like to. Because forgiveness is a … [...]

  7. Kyle, I think it is more precise to say that Jesus prayed for the forgiveness of of those who crucified him. He wasn’t granting absolution, as I explain http://www.chrisbrauns.com/2008/02/didnt-jesus-forgive-unconditionally-on-the-cross/

  8. [...] “We cannot forgive those who are defiant, however much we might like to. Because forgiveness is a … [...]

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