30 May 2011

Asking Forgiveness

Submitted by Stephen Winters

When I was in counseling, my counselor told us clients not to ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness victimizes the victim again.

We who have offended or injured someone want to be forgiven of things that we have done. We don't  want to have to experience the consequences of our behavior. However, God sends the consequences of our behavior upon us to set us free from our offending behavior. How often, when we have sinned, and then "ask for forgiveness" are we "offended" and sometimes "outraged" becaue the offended party didn't forgive us.

One of the hardest things for us to do is to look deep within, to look beyond the "sinful act" that we did and to see our ingrained pattern of offending people. That offending behavior and thinking pattern is called sin.

We may try to comfort ourselves by saying "God loves me just as I am", but in reality, God loves us in spite of who we are. But, even more, God lovesus so much that he wants to change us from the inside out so that we might become like his own son.

We want the offended party to just forgive us because we said that we are sorry and have asked "plese forgive me." However, true forgiveness (from the offended party) is based upon that person "seeing and experiencing" (over a long period of time) a permanent change in behavior from the offender. True forgiveness doesn't have to be asked for. (Does it really say any place in the bible to "ask" for forgiveness? But, rather, true forgiveness is a natural bi-product of an ongoing change of behavior of the offender. Forgiveness doesn't have to be requested, but it is naturally given. This is a process that can take years.

Modern day forgiveness ("ask for forgiveness and "poof!" "No consequences.") doesn't work, there are no lasting results.

Any parent who has successfully raised responsible children knows that a child must consistantly experience the consequences of his behavior in order to have a permanent change in behavior.

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