I have been struggling for years on trying to forgive my parents for the abuse I experienced as a child and into adulthood. I kept telling myself that I had to do it, but I just didn't know HOW. I was mowing the lawn one day a few weeks ago and God spoke to my heart as clear as day! Notice the scripture says, "Forgive as The Lord forgave you." What is the only way we receive forgiveness from The Lord? ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS WITH A REPENTANT HEART! When we admit we have sinned, ask for forgiveness and repent of those sins and turn away from them, ONLY THEN we receive forgiveness from The Lord. Well, DUH!?!?! That struck me like a bolt of lightning and I almost fell off the lawnmower! I am not to forgive my abusers until they admit they have sinned against me, ask for forgiveness, repent of their sins and turn away from them. THEN The Lord instructs me to forgive, just as He forgave me.
PRAISE GOD!!!!!! I was so excited about this message that God spoke to me SO clear about, I rushed in the house to study it. Sure enough, I found many things to back up my revelation I received. The following comes from Luke 17:3 "If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them." (NIV) Notice it says, IF THEY REPENT, FORGIVE THEM.
God does not forgive those who are 'stiff-necked' , refuse to repent, and intend to continue in their sinful ways and he does not expect us to, either. By forgiving unremorseful evildoers, we are depriving them of the opportunity to repent and transform their lives. In Luke 17:3, Jesus tells us very clearly that we are to forgive someone who sins against us IF he repents. God does not want us to continue to be abused, in fact, we are told to shun evildoers ( Some examples are Psalm 37:9, Psalm 119:115, Matthew 18:17, Titus 3:10-11, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5.). But if there is true repentance, the Lord does want us to forgive.
So if you are struggling with someone in your life who you know has sinned against you, you do not need to feel obligated to forgive them if they have not repented and asked for TRUE forgiveness. Someone who is truly repentant of their sins and turns away from those sins, you must forgive them as The Father forgives you.
In my situation, the abusers have never had a consequence for doing what they had done to me my entire life. It is just like a child who does not receive strict discipline when they misbehave. They will continue to misbehave as long as they can get away with it and without consequence. If my abusers don't receive a consequence for their behavior, they will continue to abuse as they are allowed to. So I gave them an ultimatum once The Lord revealed this to me a few weeks ago. I gave them a chance to apologize, admit what they had done all of these years was wrong, and ask The Lord into their hearts. If they did not do that then they were no longer a part of my life. They chose to not ask for forgiveness nor did they choose to get their life right with The Lord. So I will no longer have a relationship with them until they can do that. I continue to love and pray for them in hopes that someday they will turn to The Lord and experience happiness, peace and freedom that compares to nothing else on earth!