Q. I have been in a long relationship with a woman who has done a lot of things that I don’t like. She has lied to me more than once. I have helped her out with money and emotional attachment. Am I wrong for not forgiving her this time and having nothing more to do with her? She has taken advantage of my good nature because I believe in the Bible about forgiveness. I think she is evil she doesn’t care who she hurts in the process. What should i do?
A. For a Christian, which I assume you are, forgiveness is not an option. In Matt. 6:15 Jesus said if we don’t forgive others when they sin against us, God will not forgive us. He wasn’t talking about the forgiveness that leads to salvation here because the prayer He had just taught the disciples is one that only a believer can pray. John 1:12-13 tells us that only those who believe in Jesus have the authority to address God as “Our Father”. He was talking about the forgiveness that believers need to purify themselves from the unrighteousness caused by our ongoing sin (1 John 1:9).
Understand that forgiving someone who sins against you does not mean you have to leave yourself open to further mistreatment. If you are not married to the person in question, you are free to terminate the relationship. But if you refuse to forgive her for events in the past, you run the risk of becoming estranged from God. You’ll still be saved and entitled to eternal life with Him, but your relationship here on earth will suffer.
In the parable of the prodigal son we learn that the prodigal never stopped being his father’s son. But while he was off living a life of sin there was no communication between the two. As soon as the son sought forgiveness it was granted and everything was OK again (Luke 15:11-32).