Why Uncommited Offenses Seem Unforgiveable

In response to Standing in the Gap for Cheating Hearts, a commenter asks:

Praise God, and thank you. I wanted you to please, if you can spare some time, tell me tell me, inform me, or educate me on how to be forgiving on issues like this? I expect to be forgiven if I find myself in such a situation (God Forbid though), but I find it almost impossible or impossible to forgive if someone did it to me. I am talking of adultery, or sexually been unfaithful.

I am a guy, and I need some help and advice. I don’t really understand why I should expect myself to be forgiven (although not easily), but I see it impossible to forgive if a woman does that to me.

In Him,

Bayo, a thought occurs to me. Has your wife actually been unfaithful? What is impossible for man is possible for God . . . but He only grants us grace enough for today. You can’t forgive what hasn’t been committed because He hasn’t dispensed grace for tomorrow’s troubles yet. So don’t borrow trouble from a tomorrow that may never come. Or this fear/anxiety will stir up stress and suspicion that can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Trust and love your wife (even if you haven’t met her yet.) And worry about forgiving her when she’s actually done something she needs forgiven for. The only thing you can do now is practice prompt and complete forgiveness with every offense that comes up in life.

According to scripture, when something is truly and completely forgiven, the record is wiped clean and you continue on as if it never happened (this kind of forgiveness, unlike tradition’s version, requires the offender’s repentance). It doesn’t usually mean complete amnesia that it ever happened, and it may have lasting consequences, but the sting and the shame is gone and it is never remembered (used) against the offender any more. That kind of forgiveness only can come from God working in you and through you.

Prayer is your best lifeline to reach this goal. Pray for His help–and for the offender. As they say, it’s hard to hold onto bitterness while you pray for someone. It also will help to turn your eyes upon the cross (literally if possible) and remember (meditate on the truth that) Jesus paid every debt owed to you as well as the debt you owed.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to lament–to be honest before God about where you are, what you’re feeling. When we truly pour our hearts out before Him and persist as long as we have still garbage to hand over, eventually we reach a point where we’re totally empty and truly ready to look upon the cross and be filled with His grace and forgiveness.

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