Forgiveness Confusion

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Dec 29, 2018
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#1
Has anyone run across this?

A friend was having an issue with her daughter borrowing her car but returning it with something that bugged mom. Trash left in it, missing items, donation clothes missing, etc. One day she finally got so fed up an argument ensued and she told her daughter she couldn't use the car any more.

A few weeks later she was telling a group at Bible study about it as the topic of forgiveness came up. This statement confused me when she said it. "But if I forgive her then I will have to let her drive my car again." Somehow she equated forgiving her daughter with allowing her to drive the car. I said it's possible to forgive her AND have a boundary of not letting her use your car. She gave me that odd deer in the headlights look. A second scenario where someone who was managing a facility did some things he shouldn't have and was demoted and a person was having difficulty forgiving them for what they did. This scenario the guy didn't want to forgive because he thought if he did he would have to allow the person back to manage the facility. He equated forgiveness with giving there guy his job back.

This got me to wonder how many others have confused forgiveness with having to allow someone full access to their life again?

It is possible to forgive with boundaries.
 

Solemateleft

Honor, Courage, Commitment
Jun 25, 2017
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#2
Yes - I would absolutely agree with your assessment...

I've had a couple few encounters at work over this past year - surviving a hostile work place (riddled with gross mis-management) - where I have been professionally disrespected by an executive bureaucratic bully, who micro-manages his subordinate supervisors in a manner that forcing them to micro-manage their subordinates... In my case, this scenario resulted in my supervisor two layers up disrespecting me in a manner that led me to recognize that he was completely oblivious to...

Recently, I have found significant vindication and told my immediate supervisor that I would appreciate an apology from both of these men - but that I would settle for a thank you or some acknowledgement by them that my recommendations to resolve our organizations relevance and customer focused productivity was on target all along...

My supervisor simply sad - ya that's never going to happen... Because the personality types of these to individuals assume that by either apologizing or acknowledging that I was in the right - would mean that they were in the wrong - and they simply do not have the capacity to acknowledge being work to their subordinates...

To your point... By merely thanking me and acknowledging the credibility of my approach - they could still save face (short of an apology) and still maintain the boundaries as supervisors-to-employee... But they are incapable of concededing any semblance of fault or wrongdoing...
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
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#3
It seems many think forgiveness = letting people off the hook. Some even insist that if you put up boundaries it's not forgiveness at all. That forgiveness nearly requires forgetting.
I have long said forgiveness shouldn't suspend common sense. You can choose to not hold something against someone yet use wisdom to not invite them to continue their behavior.
 

Kim82

Active member
Jun 17, 2018
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#4
Forgiveness means not returning evil for evil. And to live in peace with everyone as much as it depends on you.

In my opinion, living in peace means avoiding situations and people that cause you stress.

Only God alone can truly forgive someone. He does not hold grudges, or remembers our sins. He forgives us over and over, and put up with our bad behavior.

We humans are not perfect, so we can't forgive perfectly all the time, the way God does.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
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#5
Even God doesn't necessarily free us from all consequences. Trust must be rebuilt; it isn't automatic with forgiveness, and forgiveness is not synonymous with restoration.
 

Dan58

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2013
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#6
Forgiving someone doesn't absolve them of the consequences of their offense, e.g; If I steal your car, you might forgive me, but I still go to jail for theft. Forgiveness is not absolution.
 

Deade

Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
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#7
The OP raises a point about forgiveness and how it runs counter to our built-in psyches. It does take real faith to completely let God handle things His way, but it is not optional. In fact, it could hinder our prayer life and cost us any and all deliverance from God. Jesus said: Mark 11:25 "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Hate only hurts the hater.

The way of Christianity is not seeking your own will but the will of God. It has built-in chances for abuse. If we are really obeying God, we can be taken advantage of. It will happen and we must let it go for God should be keeping track, not us. Try to stop short of being doormats if possible, that just enables the users. But still, it is God the sets the boundaries and it doesn't have to be to our liking. Look at it like this, they are taking advantage of God not you. :cool:
 
Feb 11, 2019
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#8
Forgiving someone doesn't absolve them of the consequences of their offense, e.g; If I steal your car, you might forgive me, but I still go to jail for theft. Forgiveness is not absolution.
you are right on the mark. for each instance there is a consequence. to forgive is our purpose but they still must pay for what they did.
 
Jul 3, 2015
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#9
The mom waited too long to speak up and over reacted. Completely suspending car privileges forever is excessive when the problem was not the car but the daughter's behaviors of helping herself to items in the car that were not hers, and also not cleaning up after herself. Mom can forgive this and daughter needs to stop the objectionable behaviors. Then car privileges could be restored :)
 
Oct 9, 2018
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#10
One of the key components of forgiveness is to forgo the idea of retribution, repayment, or punishment.
When we can honestly say that we have no desire for them to suffer any loss or that we deserve any reward or payment for what we lost due to the offence then we can say we have forgiven fully. It's not necessary to allow a toxic person to continue to abuse you.
 
Aug 2, 2009
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#12
This is
Has anyone run across this?

A friend was having an issue with her daughter borrowing her car but returning it with something that bugged mom. Trash left in it, missing items, donation clothes missing, etc. One day she finally got so fed up an argument ensued and she told her daughter she couldn't use the car any more.

A few weeks later she was telling a group at Bible study about it as the topic of forgiveness came up. This statement confused me when she said it. "But if I forgive her then I will have to let her drive my car again." Somehow she equated forgiving her daughter with allowing her to drive the car. I said it's possible to forgive her AND have a boundary of not letting her use your car. She gave me that odd deer in the headlights look. A second scenario where someone who was managing a facility did some things he shouldn't have and was demoted and a person was having difficulty forgiving them for what they did. This scenario the guy didn't want to forgive because he thought if he did he would have to allow the person back to manage the facility. He equated forgiveness with giving there guy his job back.

This got me to wonder how many others have confused forgiveness with having to allow someone full access to their life again?

It is possible to forgive with boundaries.
this is how I understand forgiveness in this situation...

1. She forgives her daughter in her heart. She doesn't hold a grudge against her and doesn't long for revenge (I hope not lol) or hate her. She understands that her daughter is not perfect, so she shouldn't expect her to be perfect in everything she does.

2. The "punishment" of not letting her use the car is an act of disciplining her child. If a child does something they know is bad and doesn't have a good reason for it, they need to be taught not to do it again. Some kids might only need to be told, but sometimes disciplining them is the only way to teach them (if nothing else works).