All Christians at some point will face the difficult task of forgiving someone who’s sinned against them. The apostle Paul calls us to do so in a manner that imitates the Father: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). But how do we practice this forgiveness if the offender doesn’t repent? Are we obligated to forgive, even if the person doesn’t recognize how he or she wronged us?
That’s the question considered in this new six-minute roundtable, featuring TGC Council members Mike Bullmore (senior pastor of CrossWay Community Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin), Vermon Pierre (lead pastor for preaching and mission at Roosevelt Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona), and Ryan Kelly (pastor for preaching at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico). Kelly encourages us to examine ourselves before we demand repentance from others, to be “self-suspicious” as he calls it. Pierre suggests we frame the issue in terms of forgiveness and reconciliation. Bullmore speaks to the way Romans 12:18 helps him pursue a posture of peace with others.
Offense will happen in the church. Sometimes God’s Word requires us to call a brother or sister to repent (Matt. 18:15); sometimes it simply calls us to “put up” with one another (Col. 3:13). Watch this video (or listen below) to help you do both faithfully, patiently bearing with others until the day God rights every wrong and reconciles all things by his blood.