The title is "The Danger of Forcing Forgiveness" on the website. I was titled "The Tyranny of Forgiveness" in the printed magazine. Both articles are the same.
Today's topic is heavier than usual. Sadly, the topic of sexual abuse and how abusers use forgiveness to cover themselves is needful in our time. There are victims who need help desperately, but are effectively being coerced into forgiving in a way that keeps them silent. They are simply staying controlled and manipulated and not getting the attention and mercy they need to heal.
The article above discusses this travesty and suggest four things that need to be brought to the light so that a better path can be taken. God desires to forgive. And so should we. God has given mercy to you and expects you to extend it. However, forgiveness is a gift to be given, not taken. It is not to be controlled by the one who seeks the forgiveness, and certainly not twisted to benefit them over the victim.
I hope you find the article helpful. To breathe some lighter air going into it, we will start by looking at basic principles of forgiveness, including a heart for people who have not yet asked to be forgiven.
- What does it mean to forgive someone who has sinned against you?
- What should motivate that act?
- What if they do not ask forgiveness?
- What if they have hurt you criminally and ask forgiveness, but want you to remain quiet about it?
- Should people face consequences for criminal sin, even after they've been forgiven?
- How will someone approach repentance if they care about God and the well being their victim more than for themselves?