Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Again: Christians & Catholics: Question about seeking forgiveness?

I have a serious question. I asked before but... I can't believe the answers I got. I truly would like the thoughts of good christians who seek forgiveness for their sins.

What if there were 2 girls age 12. One of them severely abused the other, mentally, verbally and sexually.

Years later the abuser found God, Jesus to be exact and decided to tell the other. She said she was sorry and that she hoped to be forgiven but knew Jesus had already forgiven her. Then they never spoke again.

Should the abuser do anything more? Anything to seek true forgiveness from the girl she abused? Should she repent in anyway to prove she was really sorry?

Or because she found Jesus' forgiveness was she free from all of that?

What does the abused victim do then?

10 minutes ago - 4 days left to answer.

Additional Details:

I am asking people who believe in a God with whom they seek absolution from what they think the abuser should do to seek forgiveness from the one they abused.

ALL: Are you saying that getting God's forgivness is enough? That the abuser does not need to do anything to the person they abused? No repentance at all?

That seems one sided.

Is that all priests have to do? Just get Jesus' forgiveness and let the abused child live a life of misery trying to figure out how to forgive alone?

Update:

Thank you.

I guess the second part of my question would be:

What would the abused victim say to the abuser? Can you say I think you should repent and truly seek forgiveness from "me" as well as God?

6 Answers

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  • Daver
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    <<Again: Christians & Catholics: Question about seeking forgiveness?

    I have a serious question. I asked before but... I can't believe the answers I got. I truly would like the thoughts of good christians who seek forgiveness for their sins.>>

    What are you looking for:

    1) The Truth

    or

    2) a 'life is a bowl of cherries' type of answer?

    Not havign ready ahead, rather than look for the answer you "want", you need to consider th Truth - and the Truth may, in fact, be something you don't want to hear, but NEED to hear.

    <<What if there were 2 girls age 12. One of them severely abused the other, mentally, verbally and sexually. Years later the abuser found God, Jesus to be exact and decided to tell the other. She said she was sorry and that she hoped to be forgiven but knew Jesus had already forgiven her. Then they never spoke again. Should the abuser do anything more?>>

    The former-abuser should try to do something to make amends for their sins. Yes, she's forgiven BUT, the damage from her sinful days remains and something needs to be done about that. It's good that the former-abuser sought forgiveness from the 'victim', but something more should be done - if not directly to the victim herself and perhaps other victims of abuse. . .

    <<Anything to seek true forgiveness from the girl she abused? Should she repent in anyway to prove she was really sorry?>>

    Presuming that the abused girl has scars (either emotion or physical) from abuse, she might not be readily willing to accept an apology from the former-abuser. It would become the former-abuser's responsibility to "make good" on the sincerity of her apology, but without forcing it on the abused girl.

    <<Or because she found Jesus' forgiveness was she free from all of that?>>

    There is temporal punishment from personal sin. This temporal punishment remains even after the sin has been forgiven.

    One way of looking at 'temporal punishment' from person sin is seeing it as the 'damage' done by the sin(s) committed. The repented sinner should do what they can to repair this 'damage'.

    <<What does the abused victim do then?>>

    Again, the victim might be understandably reluctant to accept an apology after so much abuse. That emotional "scar" is an example of temporal punishment; the 'damage', that must be repaired or 'healed' would be a better word.

    The former abuse needs to help her former victim heal from whatever wounds she still carries with her.

    If the circumstances prevent the former abuser from helping the one she abused, the former abuser can still make good by, perhaps, getting involved with organizations that help abused people get their life back in order or something along those lines.

    <<I am asking people who believe in a God with whom they seek absolution from what they think the abuser should do to seek forgiveness from the one they abused.>>

    As a Catholic, the first thing to do, once one repents of their sin, is receive Absolution via the Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    Once the sinner is reconciled with God, he/she is ready to reconcile him/herself with those the sinner adversely effected through sin.

  • 1 decade ago

    Forgiveness from God is what counts, but if you want that forgiveness, you must REALLY be sorry - repentant - lip service is not enough

    It stands to reason that any who have found Christ Jesus - will by their new being, will go out and attempt to ask the forgiveness of any they may have hurt, offended, etc. So would an abuser likely apologize to one they abused if the opportunity existed, of course they would.

    It is great that the said person did apologize AND tell the other about Jesus - that is wonderful.

    It is up to the the other girl to accept or reject the apology - the abuser did their part and it is fine if it was sincere and from the heart. You can not MAKE another accept an apology. God's forgiveness is what matters - that is not to say that you should not apologize, it only means that their acceptance or rejection of it is not what your salvation is dependent upon. Salvation is not dependent on the acceptance of any human - it is by the grace of Christ Jesus we are saved, in our faith. You can NOT earn salvation in any way. Good works are a result of your salvation, not a requirement of your salvation. One would naturally do the works because they are saved, not because they are trying to earn salvation. So faith without works is dead because it would be natural to do the works, not because we are being told to work for it. Is a doctor who has never practiced really a doctor then? Not really, they only are in label - not by what they do.

    In the case you describe, there isn't much more to do really, unless the abusee has requested you go to counseling or something WITH them. Their mental state is not something tangible yu can replace. If you had stolen money, you could give it back, etc. The best thing you could do is to be a witness for Christ to her - if she is open to it - that would help her to come to Jesus. She may reject that, just as she may reject or just not be interested in a friendship with the abuser. In that case - you can't push that person, it may do moore damage than good.

    You do not have to "DO" anything. If both are still young - at the example age yu used, it would be int he best interest for both to go to counseling. The abuser could perhaps go forward and admit their wrong in effort to get the abusee help.

    If they are adults and this is a past occurrance - it is as explained above. You say years later, so I assume they are older now.

    As to priests - they have no power of themselves to forgive ANOTHERS sin - forgiveness from God comes from God alone.

    However, having formerly been a Catholic, I do know that what you tell a priest is confidential, and therefore, they are not at liberty to repeat what they are told in a confessional.

    The abusee sould be learning to forgive, yes. If the abusee is a minor, the parents should be involved in that. If is an adult, that person must seek help. help comes fromt he Lord. The #1 thing the abuser could do for the abusee is to PRAY for the salvation of the abusee and also to pray that God would intervine in the abusee's life.

    My question is this - why they never spoke again? Mutal? Was the abuser rejected - did the abusee seem uncomfortable? What are the circumstances of the situation?

    EDIT - your remark about the abusee seeking repentance from the abuser - that would show that the abusee does not understand that the abuser has ALREADY repented - repent means to change your ways - thus, the abuser has already done this. Forgiving does not involve manipulating a situation for personal gain or as payback.

  • 1 decade ago

    Catholics, and all the other Christians I have heard of, require repentance before God forgives. God's forgiveness is enough, but genuine repentance is required to get that.

    So no, repentance is needed. Genuine repentance. And if they truly repent, they will carefully and genuinely consider what they can do to make up for what they did. They might decide that it isn't possible, or would make things worse, to seek forgiveness from the individual.

    Certainly, telling them that God has already forgiven the abuser, no matter what the abused says, would not be helpful to the abused. As such, unless the abuser is so socially inept as to not know this and intend it to help, it would be selfish and unrepentant.

    They might, on investigation and reflection, decide it would be helpful to meet the person they abused and acknowledge the horrible things they did, and genuinely apologise, saying they know the abused might never forgive them given how awful what they did was: this might help the abused by acknowledging what they went through. Perhaps a letter would be less upsetting/threatening for the abused. Or, on investigation and reflection, they might decide that what they did had such a negative impact that any intrusion into the life of the abused would make things worse. In which case, a genuinely repentant person would find a different way to repent.

    They could repent by praying and reflecting on their actions, and their current actions and thoughts, to avoid doing anything like it again. They could also repent by working to help others, perhaps donate money and/or time to a charity that helps the abused and works to prevent abuse.

    If the abused is a Christian, they presumably have been (successfully or not) working to forgive this person anyway. A genuinely repentant apology might help them with this, or it might not. Either way, a Christian has a greater duty to forgive than to be forgiven. They have no right to insist another forgive them for the awful things they did in the past, no matter how repentant they are, but they do have a duty to forgive. And a duty to genuinely repent for past sins and avoid future sins.

    [You might consider making no effort to help the other forgive to be a sin, because you are leading them to sin.]

  • 1 decade ago

    Good question.

    You know what? The Bible tells us that all that is necessary for forgiveness is to ask for it. If the abuser, like you say, "found" God (although a more Biblically accurate description of the process would be the she finally let God "find" her; he is the one who is doing the looking - Luke 15:1-10), and asked his forgiveness, then that would be enough for her.

    As for the abused: The Bible is clear (Matthew 18:35 being a key verse here) that you need to forgive others if you expect God to forgive you. That said, while the incident is for all intents and purposes forgotten as far as the abuser is concerned (she repented), it is not over with for the abused until she forgives the abuser.

    Neither party need do anything more; once the abuser repents, and the abused forgives, the incidents are blotted out of God's ledger forever.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If the abuser has asked forgiveness from Jesus and from the other person, that is all that is required. The other person, if a Christian, is to forgive them. Forgiveness does not always mean a restored relationship. I have relationships in my past where a family member has wronged me. I have forgiven them, but their lifestyle and conduct has not changed, so I choose not to have a close relationship with them, but that doesn't mean that I harbor any ill will toward them or that I havn't forgiven them.

  • 4 years ago

    The Protestant Reformation shows that the Catholic Church is the unique Christian Church. Why? What have been the Protestans rebelling against? think of approximately it. They rebelled against the Catholic Church, no longer another church. the place did the Protestants bypass? Did they locate another church that existed from the taking off to bypass to that consents with their doctrines? No, because of the fact certainly one of those church did no longer exist. they had to start new church homes. this means there replaced into no different church around that they could bypass to. confident there is the Orthodox yet that's additionally very plenty catholic and that they don't have faith in faith on my own or scripture on my own the two so how could desire to they bypass there? on account that those doctrines are the beginning place of Protestantism.

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