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#77314 - 09/10/04 08:46 AM The purpose of forgiveness
parttimecop Offline

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 139
I have been thinking of this on a spiritual level for a while now. What purpose does forgiveness serve and what aspect of God does it reveal?

Now I do not have all the answers, but I figure forgiveness has a purpose. What I think it is for is to break the chain of sin and hurt. This is more important than any healing powers it may or may not posess. Forgiveness breaks the chain of sin and prevents the sin from spreading. I don't think healing is its primary purpose. Though in many cases that can be a profound effect.

So what do you think? This is a work in progress and would appreciate contributions to this idea.

#77315 - 09/10/04 11:31 AM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
FastForward Offline

Registered: 08/10/04
Posts: 188
Loc: US

I agree. Going through the forgiveness process forces one to really loook at what happened and deal with it. As such, by the time one can let go of the hurt, the understanding is there to accommodate a choice of action rather than a reaction. One can choose what to do rather than react from the gut. I think it is that choice that brings us back to the original design that gave us a free will. We are then in control of our actions. Just my two cents .. .


L&P - always.

#77316 - 09/10/04 02:22 PM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
For me as it relates to forgiveness for being abused is that it is my choice to forgive or not. If I do it is because I can do it for myself and I would not give a rats ass how the perps felt about it. Their emotional well being is of no concern to me. The same hold true if I do not forgive. It is my choice.

The question I ask. If we forgive, does it have any effect on their continued abuse of others. In other words does it break the chain of sin. I really dont think so. Just my thoughts on it.



#77317 - 09/10/04 04:32 PM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
Aden Offline

Registered: 07/05/04
Posts: 499
Forgivness is not a gift to the sinner.
It is a balm to the offended.

The old law required ritual washing of hands before eating.

The old law forbade eating pork.

The new law still requires hand washing but allows pork to be eaten if properly cooked.

Why the change? Because now we understand the reason for the law.

It is the same for forgiveness.

Anger and vengeful thoughts degrade the soul. They are unhealthy. They cause illness and death. The are like uncooked pork. Full of worms and leading to sickness.


#77318 - 09/10/04 08:00 PM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
kolisha54 Offline

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Sorry, Aden, but the reason for refraining from eating pork was not formulated because of fear of physical impurity or disease from the meat. That the meat is "treyf" or "not Kosher" has, in fact, no rational derivation. The "law" is considered a "huk" or a law that comes from G-d "just because." The reason for the restraint IS, in fact, the RESTRAINT itself: we do not eat this meat because we are reigning in our appetite in order to be more moderate in our desires. A Kosher way of life is a conscious choice to follow a different and difficult path - just "because." The "because" exists to bring us closer with the concept of limitation: in Hebrew, the word for "holiness" is derived from the same root as "separateness."


I must also gently tell you that for some of us here, Torah is FAR from "old" law. It exists independently of chronological time - we believe that ALL of us were present at Sinai for the Revelation.

Please, in this Season of Return, Renewal, and Forgiveness, let us be more careful that we treat eachother with more understanding and compassion, so that we can all heal together in strength and community.

B'Shalom, (In Peace)

Kol-Isha (A Woman's Voice) 54 = (3)X(Life)

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

#77319 - 09/10/04 08:57 PM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
reality2k4 Offline

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6845
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Forgiveness, what is it, what does it mean?

To me it is this, imagine a World where we never forgave, it is such a bad place today, I wonder whether it is because, the people who make it that way, cannot forgive? tit for tat, an eye for an eye, intolerance are negative aspects of human nature, they are destructive.

I forgave many years ago, I had to, it was hard, but nowhere nere as hard, as having to live a life of hatred and self harm. It does break the cycle, and it is only when we can do this, do we have any chance of starting to heal.

I too can remember the immense damage done to me, at the time, and, boy was it hard to forgive, especially as I knew my perp, had never been caught and so this black cloud followed me in every footstep through life. How could I have forgiven him at the time?

Because I know, that if I hadn't, I am very sure that I would not be writing this today, violence begets violence, hurt begets more hurt etc.etc.
God gives us a set of laws, imagine if we all stuck to them, WOW, this place would be so great.
The laws he gave us, are very simple, they can be taken out of context, even manipulated by some, but they mean so much, and we can be a lot more powerful if we follow them, a lot more powerful, than those, who profess to follow them, and manipulate and lie, juat like so many very famous "born again christians", look at their track records to assertain, just how "christian", they really are, because, if that is christianity, it is not the christianity that I know!

Follow his laws, and those alone, and you will never go very far wrong in your life.

he has show me that


Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

#77320 - 09/10/04 11:41 PM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
parttimecop Offline

Registered: 03/05/04
Posts: 139
Originally posted by Mike Church:

The question I ask. If we forgive, does it have any effect on their continued abuse of others. In other words does it break the chain of sin. I really dont think so. Just my thoughts on it.
It stops the continued abuse of us. It stops the spread of hatred. Think of sin like a virus. You have been infected by that virus. You can stop the sin virus from spreading from you by taking the antidote of forgiveness. Sin can mutate. What has been done to us was sexual and in some case violent. But in us the sin mutates, in some that is(some unfortunately commit the same sins). For example I am not as open and loving as Jesus was. I am not a sexual predator, but that does not change the fact that her sin infected me and made me sin in new ways. If I can forgive her, perhaps I can stop the spread of sin.

Or think of sin as a bunch of marbles. One marble(the molestation) rolls and hits another marble(say lieing) and the first marble eventually stops. But the second one keeps rolling. If it is not stopped by some outside influence it keeps rolling and hitting more and more marbles. Forgiveness is one thing that can stop the marbles, I would also say faith and love can as well. There are probably another many aspects of God that can intervene. But forgiveness is one thing we are to do. This does not insulate a person from the consequences of their actions, but helps us deal with those actions done to us.

#77321 - 09/11/04 12:08 AM Re: The purpose of forgiveness
Kenn Offline

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Although I have only started looking at all this stuff again recently I think it has been due to new trauma dredging up the old.

While I do not condone, for one second, what the perp did to me for quite some time now I have not felt much of anything towards him. I wouldn't know him if I fell over him today. Were we to meet again, man to man, I would have a few choice words for him I am sure.

The biggest shift, lately, has been in the forgiveness I feel towards myself. (I had not even been aware of its power!)


"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet


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