Both you and I (I am sure) have heard it many times in the past:
"I forgive him for what he did to me (or what he did to [one of my family members]."
What is the real motivation for saying that?
Is is actually cowardice underneath it all?
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe.
Is it, in reality and in fact, patronizing a non-repentant one so the non-repentant one does not come back (if non-convicted in court, or when he gets out of prison after being incarcerated for a short time)...and seek to retaliate against you when you least expect it?
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear Him who, after he has killed, has power to throw into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
Is it true justice to forgive anyone who has not clearly and explicitly expressed regret and remorse - NOT for getting caught - but instead comprehending and admitting the wrongness of what he or she has done....with either verbally or in writing expressing intent to never do such a crime again?
WHAT is the real meaning, intention, and motivation behind the following verses:
Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also...
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven...
Matthew 6:15 ...but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Matthew 18:35 ....So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.
Actually, carte blanche or indiscriminate "across-the-board" forgiveness by everyone is intrinsically illogical -- because IF such were the case, neither God could nor should judge anyone to Hell on Judgment Day, being that He Himself would constantly be obligated to "turn the other cheek" in wimpish sibmission and retreat, as would police officers never using their firearms to wound or kill some murderer or intending-to-murder person firing or about to fire at the cops.
Is temporal and/or eternal judgment reserved for even God alone in that case?
IF such were so, there would then be no adequate nor reliable definition of "sin" as wrongdoing - being that by imposing nothing but positive and non-condemnatory acceptance, there would be no predictable nor allowable cause for negative criticism, condemnation, nor judgement.
The only words which then could be used would be: "Do that" -- but never: "Don't do that."
Maybe that is what Lucifer, the former Angel of Light, presumed when he rebelled against the forces of Heaven - hallucinating that The LORD and His angels would surrender in absolute slavery and inhibition in nothing but restriction to "unconditional love."
But such did not work out that way, nor does it ever work out that way. God Himself destroying Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them alive, suffocating the Egyptian army by Red-Sea drowning, David bonking the forehead and decapitating Israel-endangering Goliath, Allies bombing Jap kamakazes and Nazi terrorists, and police officers defending themselves and also others indirectly by firing their pistols...did not and never "turn the other cheek," never "forgive and forget," never express illegitimate kindness, patience, tolerance, broad-minded inclusiveness and unity, non-judmentalism...when they understandably and thankfully executed or execute (not "murdered" nor "murder") in righteous justice when the situation called and calls for it.
The entirety of the Sacred-66-books Judeo-Christian (Old-&-New-Testaments) Holy Bible is chuck full of recorded history detailing God and His obviously-designated human servants non-compromisingly performing (NOT "committing") lethal judgment...and rightly so!
Other Scripture clarifies this:
Luke 17:3 Apply caution to yourselves: if your brother sins, tell him off, and if he repents, forgive him.
Notice the key words above: "....IF he repents....".
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not fulfil it?
First Samuel 15:29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent."
Psalm 7:12 If a man does not repent, God will whet His sword; He has bent and strung His bow;
Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness.
Jeremiah 5:3 LORD, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, but they felt no anguish; You have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.
Jeremiah 8:6 I have paid attention and listened, but they have not spoken rightly; no man repents of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Every one turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle.
Jeremiah 9:5 Every one deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they commit iniquity and are too weary to repent.
Jeremiah 18:8 ....and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from their evil, I will change My mind about the punishment I had intended to do to them.
Jeremiah 18:10 .....and if they do evil in My sight, not listening to My voice, then I will change My mind about the good which I had intended to do to them.
Jeremiah 26:3 It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the evil which I intend to do to them because of their evil doings.
That last Old-Testament verse gives us the special but limited parameters of who we should "turn the other cheek" and grant whole-hearted (yet righteously-guarded and not wickedly-gullible) forgiveness to whoever explicitly-enough expresses authentic penitence (which - again - includes not a muttering of remorse or regret for getting caught, but acknowledgment of the sinfulness of the evil act committed plus forthright declaration of intention to never ever do such sin again).
To such - and ONLY to such - is it legitimate to grant the forgiveness without retaining any grudge (although maintaining understandable and godly, non-gullible guarded caution):
John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did;
John 2:24 but Jesus did not trust Himself to them,
John 2:25 because He knew all "men" and needed no one to bear witness of "man;" for He himself knew what was in "man" (actually: humans instead of "men" and "man" -- being that the Greek-Text word here is: anthr(o)p(o), comprised of the Greek letters: alpha, nu, theta, rho, omega, pi, omega...and pronounced: an-THROW-poh...from where we get our both-genders English word: anthropology, which is: the scientific study of both-genders humanity).
Remembering how non-hatefully-menacing-yet-alarmed-and-alert master-gunfighter Sheriff Matt Dillion (who starred in the TV series Gunsmoke) was quicker on 'The Draw' than the bad guys who drew first and thus created a situation of reasonable probable cause, the best law-enforcement agent - be they foreign-wars soldiers or domestic internal police or sheriff - have an intrinsic love-hate emotional feeling both for and against the ones they defensively gun down, burn alive, whatever:
Judges 20:23 And the people of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until the evening; and they inquired of the LORD, "Shall we again draw near to battle against our brethren the Benjaminites?" And the LORD said, "Go up against them."
Second Samuel 5:19 And David inquired of the LORD, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?" And the LORD said to David, "Go up; for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand."
First Chronicles 14:10 And David inquired of God, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You give them into my hand?" And the LORD said to him, "Go up, and I will give them into your hand."
Esther 8:11 By these the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods,
Esther 9:16 Now the other Jews who were in the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies, and slew seventy-five thousand of those who hated them; but they laid no hands on the plunder.
Psalm 139:21 Do I not hate those who hate You, LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
Psalm 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.
Jeremiah 50:21 "Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. Slay, and utterly destroy after them," says the LORD, "and do all that I have commanded you."
Ezekiel 18:31 Throw away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against Me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, house of Israel?
Ezekiel 33:11 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel?'"
But the need for all to repent to God and to each other continues on:
Ezekiel 14:6 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: Repent and turn away from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.' "
Ezekiel 18:30 "Therefore I will judge you, house of Israel, every one according to his ways," says the Lord GOD. "Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin."
Ezekiel 24:14 "I the LORD have spoken; it shall come to pass, I will do it; I will not go back, I will not spare, I will not repent; according to your ways and your doings I will judge you," says the Lord GOD.
Joel 2:14 Who knows whether he will not turn and change his mind, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?
Jonah 3:9 Who knows, God may yet change His mind and turn from His fierce anger, so that we perish not?"
Matthew 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Matthew 11:20 Then He began to upbraid the cities where most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.
Matthew 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.
Sometimes, God's non-forgiving curses are irrevocable and perhaps rather immediate:
Second Kings 2:23 [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, "Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!"
Second Kings 2:24 And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys.
Other times, it behooves us fallible mortals to have patience toward those who are reviling or persecuting us innocently because they were grievously misinformed against us by malicious liars:
Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe, and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people, "Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk?
13 The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.
14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
15 and killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
17 And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers.
18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He thus fulfilled.
19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
20 and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
21 whom heaven must receive until the time for establishing all that God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old.
22 Moses said, 'The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet from your brethren as he raised me up. You shall listen to him in whatever He tells you.
23 And it shall be that every soul that does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.'
24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came afterwards, also proclaimed these days.
25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your wickedness."
Acts 4:1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them,
Acts 4:2 annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
Acts 4:3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the morrow, for it was already evening.
Acts 4:4 But many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
The previous applies, for example, to driving on the roadways with vehicles equipped with horns.
I have never liked the bumper sticker: "Honk If You Love Jesus" - not that I have anything against Jesus, nor love for Jesus, nor honking per se - IF need be.
But honking a vehicle horn is - for most intents and purposes - taking the Law into one's own hands, and taken as a rude and startling warning or questionable display of either legitimate or illegitimate irritation...and to presume anything other than that is non-realistic, sadistically and ridiculously argumentative, despicably childish, and even non-comically dangerous.
Indeed, one can generally tell who on the road behind one ahead of them is probably a son of God...or instead a son of Satan....by analyzing under what conditions and circumstances the honker infrequently honks and how long they continue to honk.
IF the infraction is potentially life-or-property-threatening, honking is obviously OK. A light tap on the horn is acceptable for daydreamers not observing stoplight change, or preoccupied with cellphone or other distractions.
But when it is clear that some impatient bastard or bitch behind someone ahead of them lays on the horn in senseless impatience and self-righteous judgmental consternation without cutting the who-knows-why-they-are-slow-or-slowing-down driver ahead of them some reasonable slack, such a bastard or bitch is displaying demonic sinfulness worthy of eventual and well-deserved damnation by the God of love and benevolence in Heaven above:
Romans 9:20 But who are you, a man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me thus?"
Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Master is able to make him stand.
James 4:12 There is One Lawgiver and Jjudge, He who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you that you judge your neighbor?
During the 12 September 2011 GOP Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN and Tea Partyists (a strange combination?), both Wolf Blitzer and John King, along with serious-pokerface Anderson Cooper, gave an inordinate amount of media time to nude-legged quasi-mopheaded Migraine-Michele Bachmann to spout off her feminist mouth, with the probable intention of conspiring to pollute the GOP by misportraying the whole bunch of Republicans as porn-lusting sexist lunatics untrustworthy of providing a GOP President against Obama for the 2012 Election.
During the debate, Rick Santorum made an accusatory ass of himself. Ron Paul predictably stated his audience-booed(!) stance that United-States soldiers should not venture into foreign societies to irritate islamics inside muslim sovereign countries so as to make intrusive and non-wanted targets of what in essence turns out to be decadent-culture American imperialist crusaders....which both Gingrich and Perry disagreed with.
Rick Perry made a tyrant of himself by having ordered girls to be forced to get [so-called] anti-cancer inoculations to supposedly prevent sexual promiscuity, and made himself sadistic by miscalling Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" (which it is not - being that if the Social Security Trust Fund is managed correctly, and not wasted on illegal aliens, nor raided by thieving politicians for pork-project boondoggles to bribe voters to keep them in office, it is designed to eventually benefit younger workers still paying into it).
Negroid Cain again supported programs based on a free-market system not hamstrung by senseless and needless federal redtape regulations from such agencies as the EPA.
Stately and suave Romney, uttering support for means-based Romneycare for 10% of Massachusetts uninsured without increasing taxes (totally different from the BHO/Pelosi/Reid Forced Individual Mandate for everyone and all health insurers, except patsy pro-Obamanites granted exemptions, having robbed Medicare of 500 billion dollars, and levying huge tax increases on "the" "rich" to pay for it)....came out the intelligent-coordinator winner.
And what about funding Social Security for continued life-support, tax-free, spend-it-on-what-you-determine, monthly checks to should-be-honored senior citizens 60 and above (see Leviticus 27:1-5)?
Exodus 30:14 Every one who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the LORD's offering.
Exodus 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the LORD's offering to make atonement for yourselves.
Leviticus 27:8 And if a man is too poor to pay your valuation, then he shall bring the person before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to the ability of him who vowed the priest shall value him.
Matthew 17:24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?"
Matthew 17:25 He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?"
Matthew 17:26 And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
Matthew 17:27 However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and throw a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."
You might soon be confronted by some goof who comes up to you and asks:
GOOF: "What are you reading?"
YOU: "Precepts of Scripture, in the form of English alphabet letters."
GOOF: That is your opinion!
YOU: So? Does that make it wrong? Besides, it is your opinion in saying that it is my opinion.
GOOF: Why should you assume that?
YOU: Why should you not? Why should I not make logical assumptions? How can you prove that you are now talking to me? Prove right now that invisible oxygen exists. That U-235 is radioactive. That there is no air on the dark side of Plute. Hurry up, you are dawdling.
GOOF: It should be obvious.
YOU: It is, and you haven't proven it yet. Besides, that it your opinion.
It is disheartening to hear some missionary or evangelist ask: "How many people have you led to the Lord?" or "How many people have you turned toward the Lord?" -- the reason for that being that leading or turning anyone anywhere to anything implies the use of coercion or even physical force, and the mature Christian realizes that "you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink."
In other words, we believers do have limited involvement in the entire mechanism of some other person getting converted to Christ and thus saved, but we can't even "direct" them to the Lord, because that also implies coercive force under duress which most everyone such is done to would react against.
Instead, we merely take the right-time-and-place-and-circumstances opportunity to inform them about God and what God wants for us and them, and then we must realize that whatever happens next is only between them alone and God, privately. They themselves must choose one way, or the opposite...on their own in their own time and way.