Can we embrace forgiveness without seeking to restore the relationship? I have thought that you can forgive someone but want to have nothing to do with them going forward because of the pain they have caused. It was the “I forgive you but don’t like you anymore” mentality. I have come to see that this is mere intellectual assent to forgiveness, like cleaning the outside of the cup only. This is not the essence of what it means to forgive another person nor the heart of the Father. His desire with us is always reconciliation of a relationship. In other words God forgives us and desires to be with us. If I truly forgive someone “from the heart”, (Matt.18:35) I have an obligation to seek restoration and renewed relationship with that person if possible and safe. I may actually need to get my hands dirty. I may recover something of great value in the mess and my life would not be as rich otherwise. Risky, maybe, but this is being children of our Father in heaven.
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BA. Biola University, MDiv. Talbot school of theology many moons ago...really does not matter....school just provided tools to keep digging, asking, seeking, knocking. I see thinking as a daily excercise. Albert Einstein said, " I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious". I am no Einstein but my little brain still buzzes around at the speed of light :)