“Do I need to forgive someone right away?”
This question came up during our church’s Q&A after the sermon that Pastor John has been holding. I decided it might be interesting to expand on this in a podcast. Here it is.
Can’t listen to the podcast right away? Here’s the basic outline:
- We use the term “forgive” in two senses: (1) Stop feeling angry/resentful toward the person who hurt you and (2) Restore the relationship with the person who hurt you.
- In the first sense, it is possible to immediately give up the right to judge to God, but it may take a while for resentful feelings to go away (and that’s OK).
- In the second sense, full restoration might not be possible, and even then, the nature of the relationship may need to change.
- Biblical forgiveness aims towards reconciliation, but it’s possible to live at peace even when new boundaries need to be put up.
- You can (and should) decide immediately to give up vengeance to God. But, emotional and relational healing take time.
This is obviously just a partial answer, I would love to hear other responses.