With God's help, we can forgive
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How can you forgive someone who’s really hurt you, and yet they don’t even realize it? My business partner was lazy and it eventually destroyed our company, but he still blames it all on the economy. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I’d forgiven him, because I can’t. — J.G.
DEAR J.G.: Forgiving someone who has deeply hurt us — no matter what they did — is one of the hardest things some of us will ever do. It’s so hard, in fact, that I don’t believe we can really do it without God’s help. But with God’s help we can — and I pray you’ll discover this truth for yourself as you learn to forgive this person.
What is the key? The key is to understand how God has forgiven us. We don’t deserve to be forgiven; we’ve rebelled against God and turned our backs on him, and there’s no reason why he should forgive us for our sins. Even if we think we’re fairly good, we still aren’t worthy of God’s forgiveness. As the Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
And yet God reaches out and offers to forgive us — not because we deserve it, but simply because of his grace and mercy and love. His grace is so great that he sent his son into the world to pay the price for our redemption. If God forgave us in spite of our sin, shouldn’t we forgive others the same way? The Bible says, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
Don’t hold on to your bitterness and anger any longer — for they’ll become a poison to your soul. Instead, ask God to forgive you for your own sins — and then ask him to help you forgive this person and put the past behind you.
Then there's that concept again that 'we don't deserve to be forgiven', that 'we rebelled against God', and that 'we don't deserve God's forgiveness'... Tell me again what a newborn baby has ever done to 'rebel against God' or even have a need to be forgiven in the first place? What about someone like me who lives a good and honest life? What offense have I or a newborn ever committed that would be worthy of an eternal grudge? Yet again, the disgusting Christian doctrine that all are born dirty and deprived rears it's ugly head. It's odd how this religion that sells itself at being about forgiveness and love, it really amazingly judgmental and decides to hold humanity at it's lowest. This is a true disservice to humanity, and the goodness that oh so many of us posses.
Christians often say that God wants to forgive us. So why doesn't he? It really is simple. If he wants to, and can tell if we are deserving, there is no need for a test. No need for a barbaric and unnecessary human sacrifice. They like to talk of Jesus' death as this amazing gift, when in reality it's just proof that Christianity isn't far removed from the previous cults of sacrifice and tribal behavior that it pretends to be so similar to. Christianity is not a divine and glorious revelation, but a rather primitive belief system for primitive people. Yet you have spin doctors that have tried to present Christianity as a glorious and transcendent vision, and somehow actually got people to buy it.
Then there's this gem... 'If God forgave us in spite of our sin, shouldn't we forgive others the same way?' I certainly hope not! I feel that it's actually a very good thing that people don't tend to 'forgive' like God does. If they did it would be a pretty horrible thing. What if someone told you that they wanted to forgive you for hitting their car. But, to gain that forgiveness you must agree to be their slave for the rest of your life. If you don't agree, he'll have no choice but to lock you in his basement until you die. Would you call that forgiveness? I wouldn't, but that's exactly what Christianity tries to sell as forgiveness. The offer is that God wants to forgive you (even when you are guilty of nothing), BUT in order to be forgiven you must accept a blood sacrifice and everything that comes with it. Don't, and the price is eternal torture.
That's not forgiveness, that's blackmail! How is that any different than a P.I. dangling compromising photos in front of you and offering to give them to you and destroy the negatives? Only for a price of course... Pay up, or I'll give the images to your boss, wife, news, etc... Pay up or face the consequences. That's the same offer Christianity makes. Pay up, or be punished. That is not how forgiveness works. Forgiveness doesn't require payment. The only side effects of not being forgiven are avoidance or the holding of a grudge. Real forgiveness is selfless. What Christianity offers is not. Worship me or be destroyed... Does that sound selfless or loving to you? I should hope not. So the next time someone tells you about the 'religion of love and forgiveness', remember the truth. You can be a far more moral and forgiving person by NOT following the Christian example.
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