I’ve been a born-again child of God for almost 28 years. I was saved when I was fifteen years old and since, then, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Therefore, in the intervening years, I’ve also had to make a lot of apologies to both fellow-Christians and non-Christians alike. Interestingly, I have had a 100% forgiveness rate from the non-Christian population. When I have done someone wrong at work or elsewhere, and I’ve apologized, they have said, “It’s ok,” and treated me with kindness.
In the church, or the Christian world, it’s another story. I have about a 90% success rate on receiving forgiveness there. Why is that? Shouldn’t Christians immediately forgive, since they are aware more than anyone of their own sin-riddled condition? They have experienced eternal salvation by the sinless Son of God! They should revel in that blessing and desire to shine that light to everyone, they should understand mercy, patience, self-control, the struggle between what one wants to do, and what one should do (Romans 7), yet, when I have apologized, they have stared at me and walked away. Or they have never replied to my written apologies. I do not know why this has been the case.
I do know that all I can do is apologize. I’m not perfect. I can’t live a perfect life. No one can.
I also know Christ has forgiven me, and He continues to be not just generous with His forgiveness, but philanthropic with it! He will never, ever stop forgiving me. God is the One I will face in Heaven someday, He is the only One who can judge me, and He has judged me as righteous because of His Son, Jesus.
I also know that I can forgive others. As far as I know, I have a 100% forgiveness rate myself. If anyone has ever come to me and apologized for hurting me, I have forgiven them. Granted, there have been times I have been hurt and that person has never said they are sorry about it. But I try not to remember those hurts and I strive to move forward in love and kindness regardless. If they ever do desire my forgiveness, I’m ready to give it.
I don’t understand why Christians don’t forgive. It’s a mystery! I just know that I don’t want to be that kind of Christian.
3 thoughts on “A Great Mystery: Christians Who Don’t Forgive”
I have discovered the same thing. A woman I considered to be my best friend and a sterling Christian became very angry with me one evening and stormed off. I called her to see what was wrong and she wouldn’t tell me, but said she never wanted to talk to me again. I tried to get other Christians to intervene and she wouldn’t tell them either. My heart was broken and I was totally bewildered. This went on for over 20 years when I begged her daughter to ask her to call me. Well, she did, and said she was angry because of something she claims I said. I told her I never said such a thing and she called me a liar, but there were 3 other people with us that night who agreed I never said any such thing. I apologized anyway just to have my friend back, and she grudgingly and sarcastically “forgave” me. The kindest thing I can I think is that she may have some form of Alzheimers, since we’re both elderly now. I’m absolutely stunned that a professing Christian could behave this way. Forgiveness is the heart of our faith.
Alice, I’m so very sorry you had such a terrible experience. I love that idea that “forgiveness is the heart of our faith.” Indeed, how can we not forgive when have been forgiven by the sinless Son of God? Thank you for reading and for your kind message.
I go through the same thing, too! ( I Corinthians 10:13) Think it not strange!