"Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow

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PinkDress

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"Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« on: September 27, 2017, 03:34:48 AM »
Wondering what others may have to say about these two very different views in the Christian world of dealing with people who hurt/abuse us.

In my endeavor to seek out what God wants me to do with the PDs in my life, I've heard many speakers/authors/pastors speak on forgiveness, letting God take care of things and separating ourselves from divisive, unrepentant people. On the flip side, just tonight I heard a pastor I love speak on the matter of broken relationships and how we ought to let down our pride and forgive, suffering as Christ suffered for us no matter how we are treated. People who loved God theough history truly were beat, killed, and wounded when spreading the gospel. His mindset was basically that after all Christ suffered for us, how could we not be willing to take the initiative and suffer for the people
who hurt us, by forgiving them/re-entering relationship.

Now, of course I respect this pastor but I think he's wrong. :) However, I do think forgiveness is neccesary either way, lest we be eaten alive by the pain and bitterness. I just do not think it always means reconciliation.

But how do I know I'm not just operating under confirmation bias, agreeing more with speakers who do believe in cutting off unrepentant people? I'm burdened because I feel I've heard it both ways and DO want to do what's right by God, but find myself hurting and struggling with it. I'll also add that when I go looking purposefully for messages on my own, I hear these types that are "reconciliation always" based, and rather when I've simply been praying for answers I'll randomly hear sermons or read things from the cut off standpoint. So maybe every relationship is just so different and we have to specifically hear from God on what He'd have us do-some people need CO, some may just be broken and need someone to love them?

I'm not sure. Let me know your thoughts.
"In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." Anne Frank

"God sees people as His own treasures, so be careful how you treat them."

"No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth."

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biggerfish

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 05:44:12 AM »
I'm wondering if the idea of rocky soil fits here. Knowing that spending time with certain pds in our lives will do nothing to further the kingdom,  we can choose to use our time and talent better by going elsewhere-- to fertile soil. Just a thought.

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Levi10

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 09:29:34 AM »

However, I do think forgiveness is neccesary either way, lest we be eaten alive by the pain and bitterness. I just do not think it always means reconciliation.


I think there is a big difference in forgiveness and reconciliation.  To me I can forgive someone very easily.  Even people who may have really done something bad to me.  That doesn't mean that I ever need to speak to them again or be associated in any way with them.  As long as I am not holding onto the bad feelings for them internally, or spreading hate about them to others that is. 

I agree with you that forgiveness is necessary though for a Christian, but reentering the relationship is a whole different thing, especially for abusers. 

Not sure if you're talking about a spouse in this case...... that gets a lot more complicated in my mind than friends, coworkers, and maybe even some family.

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142757

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 11:48:11 AM »
Forgiveness & reaping what is sowed are not necessarily philosophies in opposition to each other. We have to realize what forgiveness is. Once Biblical reference describes forgiveness in the Bible as "ceasing to feel resentment because of an offense and giving up all claim to recompense."

An example: Let's say you're a king. You & a number of other kingdoms have joined forces vs another nation because you have each individually been damaged by that nation. As you prepare for war, you decide your issue is not worthy of spilling blood over. So you withdraw your kingdom from the pending battle. You have "forgiven" that other government. That does not mean you now side with that other country vs your former coalition. Maybe at one time you would have been willing to side w/your fellow monarch against any attack. But you aren't willing to let your country feel the affects of the bad decisions he made. While you personally have chosen to forgo any potential compensation, you realize your former enemy has to answer on his own for any consequences that came from his other dealings. He is reaping what he sowed. 

A PD could have caused great harm. Those hurt may chose to forgive them for it. That doesn't mean you have to pretend nothing happened. If your feelings have now changed that is the damage from the PD's behavior. It is not up to you to bridge that gap if you choose not to. If the PD caused the damage, he is the one who has to mend any fences he vandalized.

Jehovah & Jesus have been the greatest examples of forgiveness. Yet, they don't step in to protect us every time from the results of bad decisions. David's adultery with Bathsheba is a good example. It is in 2 Samuel 11 & 12. The penalty for David's adultery was death. The penalty for orchestrating the murder of her husband was death. The penalty for the innocent soldiers' deaths in carrying out that plan was death. But God forgave David.

However, He told him David he would have calamity within his own household. This did not mean Jehovah caused all of the tragedy that ensued. If He did, that would mean God was responsible for the subsequent rape of David's daughter by his eldest, that older son's murder, the rebellion of Absalom & his civil war, among other things.  (James 1:13 - "with evil things God cannot be tried.") What it does mean is that God took away His protection of David's household. His adultery caused a domino affect that infected his children &, really, the entire kingdom. He reaped what he sowed.

"Somedays you just can't get rid of a bomb."

Adam West (Batman)
9/19/28 - 6/10/17

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PinkDress

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 02:32:53 AM »

However, I do think forgiveness is neccesary either way, lest we be eaten alive by the pain and bitterness. I just do not think it always means reconciliation.


I think there is a big difference in forgiveness and reconciliation.  To me I can forgive someone very easily.  Even people who may have really done something bad to me.  That doesn't mean that I ever need to speak to them again or be associated in any way with them.  As long as I am not holding onto the bad feelings for them internally, or spreading hate about them to others that is. 

I agree with you that forgiveness is necessary though for a Christian, but reentering the relationship is a whole different thing, especially for abusers. 

Not sure if you're talking about a spouse in this case...... that gets a lot more complicated in my mind than friends, coworkers, and maybe even some family.

I was thinking along the lines of extended family. (Specifically inlaws in my case.) I agree that with a spouse it is an entirely different situation. I'm ready to be done with both my FIL & MIL bc I've learned they're Ns. H also frequently displays N behavior, maybe fleas, but nonetheless he's done a lot of wounding too. However, I feel I'm in a covenant with him and genuinely want our marriage to move to a healthy, loving, GOOD place so I'm not giving him up. I'm praying therapy will help reveal the hurtful things and keep accountability, OR it very well may anger him and cause things to get worse.

I like your forgiveness insight, I feel I have struggled to fully heal/forgive/move on and keep that up with nMIL bc I've been pressured to KEEP contact, reopening wounds each time with new behaviors as I'm still getting over the last. I think pulling back is often healthy and required Biblically.
"In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." Anne Frank

"God sees people as His own treasures, so be careful how you treat them."

"No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth."

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PinkDress

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 02:39:45 AM »
...Maybe at one time you would have been willing to side w/your fellow monarch against any attack. But you aren't willing to let your country feel the affects of the bad decisions he made. While you personally have chosen to forgo any potential compensation, you realize your former enemy has to answer on his own for any consequences that came from his other dealings. He is reaping what he sowed. 

A PD could have caused great harm. Those hurt may chose to forgive them for it. That doesn't mean you have to pretend nothing happened. If your feelings have now changed that is the damage from the PD's behavior. It is not up to you to bridge that gap if you choose not to. If the PD caused the damage, he is the one who has to mend any fences he vandalized.


Wonderful points here. I feel my "country" is my family, and like you said in that analogy, I am absolutely not willing to place my "country"/family in harms way as nMIL grapples with her loneliness due to her own hurtful actions. And your other point, her behaviors changed my feelings towards her and it is NOT my responsibility to keep pushing to fix things. I have to let go in forgiveness of heart (no resentment) and realize that burden is hers to bear and make right if she so chooses. Thank you!
"In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." Anne Frank

"God sees people as His own treasures, so be careful how you treat them."

"No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth."

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PinkDress

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 02:41:32 AM »
I'm wondering if the idea of rocky soil fits here. Knowing that spending time with certain pds in our lives will do nothing to further the kingdom,  we can choose to use our time and talent better by going elsewhere-- to fertile soil. Just a thought.

I love this too. And you know, perhaps every heart is different and requires us to genuinely seek God's guidance bc we don't know what "soil" were getting. A pattern of behavior and lack of repentance in my situation shows I have a PD with rocky soil. Doesn't matter what seeds of forgiveness, kindness, love I try to plant. They're all choked out or never have a chance.
"In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit." Anne Frank

"God sees people as His own treasures, so be careful how you treat them."

"No one warns you about the amount of mourning in growth."

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tommom

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2017, 04:35:44 AM »
I agree with Levi. Forgiveness is something within ourselves, in my opinion. No one else is involved. Forgiveness is good for US. When we forgive, all that bile and garbage we are carrying around goes away. There is nothing else - including reconciliation - required.

I had two PD in laws but I forgave them, repeatedly, but never forgot what they did. (Not a good idea, as Levi said, with PDs. Sure fire way to be boundary-violated again.) and, even though I would visit rarely, exchange gifts, send cards, etc.  (I even took care of my MIL after a surgery when no one else would, she was that big a sweetheart!) I never let my guard down, or accepted her crap, etc. when I did that. (I will admit, I did a "Kill 'em with kindness" thing. Still makes me chuckle when I think about it.) But the forgiveness is, IMHO, for US, not for them. Keeps us healthy, happy, and other good stuff.
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Danden

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2017, 10:10:29 PM »
If the other person does not believe, and more importantly, understand, that they did something wrong, forgiveness is futile.  They care nothing for your forgiveness.  They are blind to the meaning  of it or the need for it. They do not believe they were wrong.   No reconciliation is possible, and no repair of the relationship is possible.

As the wronged party, one may choose to forgive.  If a child can forgive an abuser who took away a part of her soul, I believe that is a difficult and challenging thing spiritually.  Does God ask more than that?  Does God ask us to reconcile with our abusers?  If a person can do this, I am sure they are very close to God.  If a person can understand the hurt, absorb the hurt, and yet continue in that relationship with love, that person is saintly indeed.

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all4peace

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2017, 02:04:32 AM »
I think they both fit. Think of 2 bible examples

1. Thief on the cross. He still died for his crime, but his soul was redeemed because he repented right before death.
2. David after having Bathsheba's husband killed, and committing adultery with her: He lost his infant son, and his family was cursed for generations (read about what the prophet Nathan told him would happen), and yet he was fully forgiven by God and based on his writings in the Psalms had a deep and loving relationship with Him.

I think we can forgive and be forgiven AND still have consequences involved.

The way it's working in my life: I no longer have anything more than a very infrequent and very superficial relationship with my ILs. I work to forgive them over and over again, not because they deserve it  and not because there are no consequences, but because it harms my body and soul to hold onto the bitterness, and it harms those around me in the ways it seeps out of me. So I am choosing over and over again to forgive (and it is HARD!) mostly for me, but also because I don't have a right to hold anything over their heads.

However, since they cannot consistently (more than 1 random time out of 4) behave in a safe manner, we do not move into a closer relationship again. For me, that is simply a matter of priorities--I made promises to God about my DH and kids, not my ILs. If someone exhausts everything good inside of me, in their nonstop bizarre or hateful behavior, then I simply don't have enough left in me to take care of my #1 priorities and exhaust myself with them. Simple logistics for me :) (although it took forever to reach this point of view)

Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. Forgiveness is something I do for me and the other person (but mainly me).
Reconciliation is forgiving and moving back into relationship.
If someone is still not safe or repentant, reconciliation is NOT on the table. DH and I deliberately hold ourselves apart from his family to make it very clear that the relationship is no longer desired or safe for us, and reconciliation is not happening at this point. .

ETA: I see 142757 already posted about David :)
Another good example is Joseph with his brothers. He forgave them, but not after a lot of testing, over time, as to discover if they had changed their character.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 02:10:12 AM by all4peace »

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2017, 03:43:56 PM »
My thoughts were focused on what the pastor had said in this part that you posted
Quote
suffering as Christ suffered for us no matter how we are treated. People who loved God theough history truly were beat, killed, and wounded when spreading the gospel
Christ suffered specifically for us according to the pastor, there was a greater purpose at work and being accomplished in his suffering, specifically buying back for the entire human race what Adam lost. Christians who have been persecuted throughout history as you say in your quote did so for the sake of spreading the gospel, they were preaching and doing the work of God. Neither of those things have anything whatsoever to do with the argument that one should stay in an abusive relationship.
∑ Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage. Plan accordingly, make time to heal
∑ Individuation is the key to emotional freedom
∑ It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
∑ If others were self observant, introspective, this forum would not exist

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Danden

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2017, 06:34:26 PM »
 :yeahthat:

I agree.  If a person stays in an abusive relationship in order to suffer "as Christ suffered for us" it is completely not the same as Christ suffered.  Christ suffered for us for a greater purpose, to redeem mankind.  A person who suffers in an abusive relationship is suffering in order to gratify the ego of the abuser.  I don't think God wants that for us.  Now if a person can be in an abusive relationship without suffering, that is, handling the negativity or at least not being bothered by it, that is a different story.  But I think very few people can remain in an abusive relationship and maintain a loving heart throughout and within that relationship.  That would require a very saintly person and very few individuals are able to do that.

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coyote

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Re: "Just forgive"/ VS Reaping what they sow
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2017, 06:43:59 PM »
I think God put us here to be happy and enjoy the life we are given. I totally agree with the forgiveness part especially as part of  our own healing. But He would not want us to suffer in an abusive relationship. Bottom line.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
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The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
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Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius