Forgiveness and the rabid dog
The family has been thinking about forgiveness and abusive individuals a lot lately. Here is my take on the subject of forgiveness. My opinion on this matter may change over time, but for now, this is how I feel about it.
The bible covers the topic of forgiveness in a number of places. The first concept is one where we are to forgive as God has forgiven us. The other that comes to mind is where we are commanded to forgive 77 x 7 times. But what does that all mean? Especially when it comes to people that are abusive and out to do us harm? What about them?
I feel forgiveness is like when you let someone out of jail even though they are guilty of committing a crime. But, what I think is important is the condition of the heart of the individual you are letting out of prison and how you continue to interact with them afterward.
When I forgive someone I don’t seek vengeance. I don’t seek to do them harm, or get even. That being said, that doesn’t mean I continue to let them abuse me when they are unrepentant. If they are, repentant I will try my best to ignore the offense completely. But if they are unrepentant I will stay away from them. They can be a danger to my family, so I stay away.
I think it is like a rabid dog. If the dog bites you, you stay away from that dog. It doesn’t mean you put the dog down, but simply stay away from that dog. The problem is, dogs can’t be sorry for what they do. People can.
God forgives those that repent. But does God forgive those that continue to practice sin? Nope. Does God forgive those that insist on going against Him and His commands? Nope.
Well, that is my take at this point as well. If you insist on hurting me or my family, I am not likely to have anything to do with you.