Reflecting on Those That Do Not Seek Our Forgivness

Primary Audience – Fellow Christians.
Secondary Audience – Anyone That Can Relate.

A few Sundays ago our church heard a sermon on forgiveness and while I like all of our pastor’s sermons, this one was particularly powerful for me (and for many). I have found myself talking frequently about it since then and it’s a topic that I don’t really tire of because in life there’s always conflict, disunity and disagreement – even for those who have embraced the many aspects of plurality.  Case and point would be the “Ground Zero Mosque” (I’m working on a post but I’m still processing it too).

Most of us regard forgiveness as a good and noble thing. Christianity teaches that it is the only truth that truly liberates. Being forgiven by God liberates us from the consequences of death and forgiving one another releases us from the control and anger that our hurt places on the other (and ourselves). And as difficult as it is to seek forgiveness from God and offer forgiveness to others, it is also difficult to restore relationships with those that are likely not to seek our forgiveness.

I thought of various episodes in my life and the condition of certain relationships that I no longer have. Some are probably for the better, some probably aren’t. One that came to mind was one that I feel I can not do anything about. As awkward/ridiculous as it is to write in a blog post, I’m the offended party. There’s really nothing that I can change on my part. Eventually, I walked away from I what I felt was an emotionally abusive relationship. And I don’t expect my phone to ring any time soon.

It is something that I have moved on from and isn’t anything that keeps me up at night.  However, the experience has provided points of clarity and maybe through God’s grace, some wisdom. Surprisingly, it has also helped me in counseling situations. I think about it every so often because it lacks a closure that Christians should offer one another. That may sound too idealistic but my faith is founded upon the dead living again so I’d say nothing is improbable.

Among the lessons that my wife and I have learned from this is to not place others in this situation. To seek reconciliation, because when we don’t, we claim a higher standard of forgiveness than God. What we have also learned is to move on without the other seeking your forgiveness. By doing so, we truly are able to forgive and be unshackled from the pain they may have caused. To do so means to extends a type of grace similar to what was extended to us. I don’t recall reading Pilate coming to Jesus’ tomb repenting for what he had done. Nor did I see the Pharisees or the scribes or the chanting crowds who hated Jesus seeking forgiveness. Didn’t read about Pilate or Caiaphas offering any profound remorse. Jesus did not wait in the tomb until they did. He moved on. He lived again. May we do the same and not be held captive by the pain that others have caused. May we forgive, be liberated, live again and may the God of love, justice and forgiveness have mercy on their soul and ours.


  1. Brilliant post Tim. Thanks for sharing from this difficult place. This has come up in my own life and in the lives of my friends. Your last paragraph was challenging and spot on.

  2. Good words, Tim. Very good words.

  3. @Ed – Thanks again Ed. I was just on your page earlier this week (but as usual, didn’t comment but I love your stuff).

    @Daniel – Appreciate your kindness. I hope our paths cross again one of these days.

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