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Forgiveness
Responsibility & the Betrayer

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

I have already discussed forgiveness as it applies to the betrayed. But how does it apply to the betrayer? I've already pointed out that remorse is not a prerequisite, that there are no prerequisites. But a person chooses his responses, his feelings and his opinions. Though God forgives completely, though you may forgive completely, a person cannot accept the gift and be free without first acknowledging sin and until such time as a person acknowledges and accepts the pain of his actions, the benefits of forgiveness will remain inaccessible. Since the gift has been given, receipt of the gift is within control of the betrayer. Acknowledging sin does not mean a person understands your pain or even that a person knows precisely what was sinful--we are often hurt and angry at others who do not know or understand what they did that was hurtful or why it was hurtful and yet those others may still feel sorry for our pain. A refusal to admit and acknowledge is a barrier to the Unconditionals. Failure to understand implies an attempt, whereas refusal implies conscious denial.

This closes the loophole within the Unconditionals where a person excuses sin by rationalizing that it does not matter since God will forgive. It's not the wrath of God but the wrath of Self that destroys and the cures--remorse and repentance--are painful. Another's remorse and repentance are not within our control. Forgiveness only releases the painful bond between us and them; it can do nothing for their link to their own Self until they forgive themselves.

The cure starts with Self-honesty which leads to remorse and repentance. The preventative solution is Agapé; the cure post-sin is remorse and repentance. A person justifying sin through the loophole of the Unconditionals is not loving God, his Self or others. Such a person may love emotionally or feel love but loving is a verb and the action of Agapé-love is absent. It is not merely the receipt Agapé but the reciprocation of the gift that becomes curative, for loving causes a person to feel remorse and to actively repent.

The tragedy of a life of denial and dishonesty is not merely the self-corruption, but that it corrupts others who are vulnerable to the influence of the beliefs and ideas. Such sins as adultery and hatred, when not treated as sins, teach children they are not only acceptable but that they are within the realm of expected behaviors. A baby does not hate people because of their race, sexual orientation, profession; babies do not hate or judge; but as they grow they can be taught to hate and pass judgment.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
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