3 Pardon pratique

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After the theory here are the 4 illustrations of the practice of forgiveness.

I am a Christian victim of another member of the Church

I must try to implement reciprocal forgiveness.

If restoration of communion

  • For example, if at the end of a meeting of my Christian assembly, one of my brothers slaps me and then leaves without further explanation, without my being able to know the reasons for this offense.
It is written in the Bible, that between Christians, it is necessary to forgive each other reciprocally.

  • Thus, if in the hours that follow, my brother in Christ does not come forward to ask me for forgiveness, or at least to explain himself, it is written that I must act. I must go to my brother face to face[1] and talk to him something like this:
"Brother, I beg your pardon, because I guess I must have done something offensive to you to smack me like that."

  • Thus, I propose, the forgiveness which will have to be reciprocal. If my brother, explains the wrongs that I caused him voluntarily or not, I am on the right track. He will have to conclude by granting me his forgiveness;
"I forgive you, since you sincerely ask my forgiveness"

  • On the other hand, he will have to ask my forgiveness for the slap he gave me to my great astonishment. The conclusion of this interview should be scripturally[2] :
"I beg your pardon for that slap too."

  • At this time, I must grant him my just forgiveness;
"I forgive you, since you sincerely ask my forgiveness"
  • AND THE MATTER IS SETTLED, fellowship is restored, reciprocal forgiveness has been given, this is a just forgiveness, both parties implement reciprocal just reparations.

If non-restoration of communion – transfer of the litigation case

  • On the other hand, if my brother who gave me the slap, does not conclude this interview with a reciprocal request for forgiveness, THE CASE IS NOT SETTLED.
  • I have to ask him, if he thinks that the slap I received (even if it was justified from his point of view) really reflected the reality of the Church and the love that must reign there.
If my interlocutor insists on not asking for forgiveness too, if he does not obey the rule of reciprocal forgiveness THERE IS A FREEZE!

  • Indeed, I must obey the rule of forgiveness and grant only "just forgiveness".
I must take back my forgiveness, because I cannot grant what God himself never grants, forgiveness without repentance.

  • "Since you stubbornly want to justify yourself by your own righteousness, I cannot forgive you. I take back the forgiveness I gave you. I will not take revenge either, since God forbids it. I surrender my righteousness into the hands of my Heavenly Father. Now, our litigation case is transmitted higher. Me, I no longer have a problem with you, on the other hand you have a problem with my Father who is in heaven and who is also your Father (at least I hope)... From today, I leave act the justice of God, which may very well manifest itself in his wrath which also chastises his children whom he loves."

Expansion of litigation

  • But the matter does not stop there, because it is written that the wicked must be removed from among us, from the community of Christians. According to the case and the nuisance capacity of a disobedient brother or sister, the Church, the community of Christians will have to act for its own safeguard.
Jesus Christ himself uses the word Church only twice; once to declare that it is he who builds it[3], another time to describe the vital discipline[4] which should reign there, since it is he who is its chief[5].
The application of discipline in the Church has been ordained by Christ himself.

I am a Christian tormentor of another member of the Church

I must immediately go ask for forgiveness.
  • There it is easy, if I remember during Holy Communion, while I examine myself[6], that I injured a member of the body of Christ[7], I run to repair this offense by asking for forgiveness...
  • I condemn myself by taking the sacrament unworthily[8].
  • If I have harmed another Christian, it is my duty to restore communion as soon as possible, so as not to fall from grace. If I do not repair myself quickly, my Father who is also the Father of my victim, risks having the repairs carried out himself. I also run the risk of being chastised by my good Father who loves me, loves my victim and watches over my piety[9].
I must not have a late a forgiveness!

I am a Christian victim of a non-Christian

I must love my tormentor...
  • In this eventuality the scripture does not speak of reciprocal forgiveness.
  • Of course, as in the eventuality of the Christian victim of another Christian, I can even go to my tormentor so that he repents.
  • If no repentance is shown and my tormentor has nothing to do with me as his victim, it is out of the question to forgive him.

This does not authorize me to take revenge, nor to hate the flesh-and-blood person that he is. Indeed, the Bible invites me through the mouth of Jesus Christ to love my enemy...not to forgive him!

I am a Christian tormentor of a non-Christian

I must immediately go ask for forgiveness.

If I have harmed others, my priority, as in the case where my victim was a sister or a brother in Christ[10] is to put an end to this harm by asking for forgiveness, that is, by repenting by producing the fruit of repentance[11], that is to say the repair.

If I broke something I apologize and fix it, if I stole something I return it and offer compensation, if I haven't declared all my taxes I make a fix, if I have illegal moonlighting, I repent cease this illegal work and declare my income.

If my victim is deceased, I ask forgiveness from God for the harm caused or from the descendants of my victim, according to what the Spirit of God will convince me to do.

Notes and References

  1. Matthew 18:15. But if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
  2. Scripturally: according to the scriptures, the Bible.
  3. Jesus Christ builds his church. He alone, and not a pastor, a priest, an evangelist, a pope... Matthew 16:18. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
  4. Matthew 18:14-18. Even so it is not the will of your Father in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish. 15 But if your brother shall trespass against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear you, take one or two more with you, so that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he neglects to hear the church, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax-collector. 18 Truly I say to you, Whatever you shall bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven; and whatever you shall loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.
  5. Ephesians 5:23. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
  6. 1.Corinthians.11:28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.
  7. The body of Christ is another term for the Church, not the building, not the institution, but the community of believers in Christ, the community of Christians, men and women who are born again, not of the will of the flesh, but of the will of the Spirit.
  8. 1.Corinthians 11:29-30. For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and many sleep.
  9. 1.Corinthians 11:32. Mais quand nous sommes jugés, nous sommes châtiés par le Seigneur, afin que nous ne soyons pas condamnés avec le monde.
  10. God made us his children. It is important to understand who my Father is. Before becoming a Christian, my father was not God but the devil. Likewise, through Adam, my ancestor, I am brother or sister of all other humans, I am part of the human family, which is not that of God. When I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior, then I am born again of the spirit and brought into the family of God. God becomes my Father, and all Christians my family. 1 John 3:8-10. He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil. 9 Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the Devil: everyone not practicing righteousness is not of God, also he who does not love his brother. John 1:12-13. But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name, 13 who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God.
  11. Matthew 3:7-8. But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said to them, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance;