Baptists/anger and forgiveness

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Question
Hi. I have been struggling for a while with the issue of forgiveness. Are christians, are we called to forgive even unbelieving people and those that do not repent? I have someone in my life now (a parent) that continues to hurt me. She insults my beliefs also and is not a Christian. What should I do when she does. these things?

Answer
Hi,

This is an issue I have had trouble with in my life as well. I have forgiveness issues as well. I know exactly what you mean by having someone hurt the Christian and continue to do it and not repent. Should we also forgive these people?

I suppose the standard answer is that we do have to forgive even these people.  

In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus says to forgive men their sins, and not just Christians or those who ask you to forgive them and repent.

We have to free up our hearts to forgiveness and forgive even if that person does not deserve it, if not for their sakes then for our own. Holding a grudge eats up a person inside.

God could destroy the whole earth due to sin but does not. He spares his hand and is gracious to everyone, both the righteous and the wicked. He blesses both the righteous and the wicked with rainfall so we could have crops, and with sunshine so we can live in general.

If it were my parent I would sit down with this person and tell him/her how he/she is hurting me. Have a one on one, heart to heart talk. And let him/her know that I forgive him/her.

If we look at the Epistles of Paul we see that he says to try to win over the unbeliever by our actions to show them what it means to be a Christian.

I know that in my life unbelievers who have hurt me kept pointing out to me every time I sinned and tried to show me that I was a hypocrite. In such a case the believer should clean up his/her life to truly show Christ in his/her life. Yet often times unbelievers will use and manipulate situations to hurt the Christian and try to say the Christian is a hypocrite even if that is not the case. I had people tell me that I should turn the other cheek and not get mad if I am a Christian, while the whole time they were hurting me. Christians are not doormats for everyone to just walk all over.

But these are unbelievers who do not know the Bible. As Christians we have the right to defend ourselves. And Christians have a right to justifiable anger. Christians are humans too and Christians get angry just like everyone else. People are people and we are all humans and all humans are sinners.

My advice to you is to pray and ask God to give you the strength to forgive this person and deal with him/her from day to day in a godly and Christian manner. My advice is to pray and ask for God's grace to deal with this situation and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit so that God's truth to unbelievers may shine through you.

I know that this situation is hard. But with God nothing is impossible.

I hope this helps.  

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Alex Gorecki

Expertise

I can answer Biblical Questions, especially those dealing with the New Testament. I am knowledgeable in Christian History, such as the Ante-Nicene Fathers and the Reformation. I am also knowledgeable when it comes to questions dealing with the Roman Catholic Church.

Experience

I was raised as a Roman Catholic, then when I was 34 I started reading the accounts of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and decided to leave the Roman Catholic Church. I believe that over time the church had evolved and changed in theology. I left the Roman Catholic Church and became a born again Christian. I currently attend a Baptist Church. I have an Associates Degree from a local Bible School. I am working on a Masters Degree in Ministry.

Education/Credentials
I have a BA and an MA in European History. I also have an Associates Degree from a local Bible School. And I am currently finishing up a Master of Ministry Degree.

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