The Problem with Forgiveness
This is a complex subject that most people simply avoid by saying… The Bible says so… Thereby snuffing out this sorely needed discussion.
Its a subject not to be taken lightly as it covers everything from a minor offense to people that have had years stolen from them or loved ones taken from them. It is especially complex because there is not a person on earth that hasn’t been a victim of transgression or been the transgressor at some point.
I am going to share my experiences and my opinions. Am I insisting that I’m right and you should accept my views without question? Absolutely not, if anything, I am opening up a dialog on a topic that needs to be discussed candidly as it affects all of us.
A license to sin?
Let me start by explaining the title. The problem with forgiveness is that we misunderstand God’s grace.
We get wounded deeply and we get told to forgive them. We read that grace washes away their sins. That they have a clean slate…
It almost feels like adding insult to injury. Like rubbing salt in a wound. There’s that voice in the back of our mind that says, “How can God expect this of me? How can God let them get away with this when He knows what they did to me? You want me to do what? Turn the other cheek? You want me to pray for those that use me?” ????????????
The reason we struggle to forgive is that we think that the presence of grace means the absence of accountability.
There is a difference between a person that is sincerely after God’s heart and trying to live in a manner that pleases God and a person that uses God’s grace as a license to sin.
The Bible says that the Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Many believe a twisted interpretation of grace that has led people to believe that they can do anything, apologize for it, get away with it and, continue to do it. Let me ask you something, wherein the above do you see fear? It’s a brazen disobedience at best.
Listen, God sees through us and knows the intentions of our hearts. You can fool everyone except God. People can think you’re a Saint but God knows.
Yes. You have Grace to genuinely try again but you will be held accountable, even for your words. Don’t believe me… Matthew 12:36:
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.
We need to straighten this out, post hast. Need I remind you that the Bible also says, Don’t be fooled God is not mocked for whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap.
It took me a little over two decades to realize that this scripture should not be taken lightly.
The year was 2007, I was dealing with an absolutely unreasonable, rude client. I take the file to my manager and explain the situation. She says, “Just do whatever he wants. he’s that type of person!”
Now keep in mind, I’m 21 with a mind in mint condition, low mileage, hardly used in my teenage years. I think to myself, this is how the world works. If you’re a Jackass, you get things done. Clearly, it works, this guy is rich.
Armed with this idiotic idea, I set off to test my theory. Fast forward to a week or two later, I bought a kennel from a local chain store. When I opened the box, there were broken parts. You could see that someone had assembled, taken it apart, and returned it. I called the store and spoke to the person in charge of that aisle. I gave him a hard time, I said that since it’s his aisle, he’s personally responsible for this and threatened to call management if they didn’t deliver a new one today.
It was Sunday. I was being so rude and unreasonable that this guy even asked me why I was being that way. To be fair, it wasn’t that big of a deal. A minor inconvenience at best. Nothing to throw a tantrum over. And the kennel was in a sealed box, somewhere down the line it slipped through the cracks and no one checked the contents. It happens. Needless to say, they delivered a new one the same day. Clearly, my theory of being a Jackass worked, I got what I wanted.
Ironically, Koda never slept in the kennel. I wonder if it reeked of my shame. He only used it to hide from me when it was time for his bath. ????
Fast forward to a week, perhaps more. Something went wrong on a shipment. My branch manager called me into her office and she gave me a thrashing.
You ever got it so bad that you come out dazed from the office? I didn’t make the mistake but the client was holding me personally responsible for it. (Sounds familiar ????)
I was like this is so unfair. Yes, it’s a delay but it’s not that big of a deal. He’s just being unreasonable. Then the penny dropped…
Oh no, I did this. I started to think about my life and realized that I never got away with anything. I always reaped what I sowed. In fact, I thought that perhaps it’s just me. Maybe I signed up for express delivery. How come I’m the only one that seems to be reaping?
Then I started to think about stories that I’ve heard over the years through the grapevine and started to see it… Seed, harvest, seed, harvest. No one gets away with anything.
We assume that people get away with it because no one tells you, don’t feel sorry for me, I did this. I’m reaping what I sowed. Well then, let me be the first to tell you. I always reap.
Most of the time, people don’t even realize it because there is a delay between the sowing of the seed and the harvest. The delay allows us time to self-correct but it can also cause people to think they got away with it. By then, all is forgotten and when the harvest comes, we cry and wonder why this is happening to us.
This is my opinion. Everyone is capable of good and evil. The difference is, some people worked out the system and others didn’t.
May the system forever be in your favor
We hold onto unforgiveness and wish for an “eye for an eye”, “tooth for a tooth”. What we don’t realize is that an eye for an eye is actually mercy in comparison to sowing and reaping. An eye for an eye is a 1:1 ratio. Sowing and reaping is an intentionally heavy-handed system. Think about it, when you plant an apple seed. How many apples do you get? You don’t get one apple, you get many apples.
Sowing and reaping are designed to be heavy-handed, not because God is cruel but because it’s a law set in place to steer us toward doing the right thing. It’s like gravity, you can’t see it and neither can you escape it. Whether you believe in gravity or not, jump off a building and it will crush you. The same applies, if you disregard sowing and reaping, it will destroy you.
Meek, not weak
God’s intention is to make us become meek. This scripture is often ridiculed by outsiders, the meek will inherit the earth.
A meek person isn’t weak. They understand the system and game it. A meek person will have the power to hurt a transgressor and won’t do it because that would mean they are planting a seed that will be to their detriment later on.
So instead, they continue to plant good seeds, ignore your transgressions and let the system deal with it. If you continue to only plant good seeds, what is your inheritance? A bountiful harvest… Makes sense?
Turning the other cheek
That is why the Bible tells you to turn the other cheek. This is figuratively speaking, not literal. Don’t take a whipping for anything. Christians misunderstand this and become a doormat for people to walk all over or a punching bag. God wants people to respect you and follow your example. No one respects a doormat or punching bag. You just walk away and let the system deal with the person. You don’t retaliate.
Does that mean you’re a weakling? No… You can probably knock him out, perhaps give him a blue eye but you are simply incapable of dishing out punishment as bad as the harvest his seed will produce. A blue eye will last a day or two, a harvest is a season.
When you understand that no one gets away with anything, forgiveness becomes easy. You no longer have to keep score, the system keeps score. We live in an unjust world but everything is brought into account. The books will always balance. You don’t have to do anything, except mind your own business.
Pray for them?
Okay, Clint, I’m prepared to forgive. Heck, I’ll even walk away but why must I bless those who curse me and pray for those who mistreat me? (Luke 6:28)
Because they’re a bunch of idiots. People like this are architects of their own destruction. Each and every one of us is designed specifically to fulfill a purpose and deployed to get it done.
Dude, we don’t have time to be doing stupid things and ruining other people’s lives with our selfish/childish ways. When you pray, you are petitioning heaven to intervene so this person snaps out of it and gets to work. That’s why you need to pray for them not because you’re expected to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Forgiveness does not mean reinstatement. You can forgive and part ways, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Going forward, I want you to think about your life and start to connect the dots between the seed and the harvest. Also, think about the mistakes of those around you, connect their dots. You’ll realize that no one gets away. Then allow yourself to release the burden of feeling compelled to keep score. I guarantee you, you will find freedom and happiness.
Unforgiveness is a tough burden to bear. Justice will be served. Let. It. Go
This brings us to our next question. If someone is going through a hard time, does this mean they are reaping what they sowed? I will answer it in next month’s article. Until then, take care.
My goal is to emulate Jesus and follow his example but if all else fails, I’ll be like David. A writer, a man after God’s own heart and someone not to be trifled with.
I believe in discussing life in a candid (unfiltered), no holds barred manner that stimulates personal growth.
I spend my spare time creating content that is informative, entertaining and that will help others in their personal development.
The Hustle is a project that focuses on career and purpose.
I also have a cooking vlog called Passing it on which is on Facebook and YouTube.
In matters of faith, I contribute to this ministry.