Something to think about.
7 Times 7
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:22
I am not writing about forgiveness. I am writing to ask. Does forgiveness include acceptance? Until recently I have never had a problem with this. I have always been or at least tried to be quick to forgive. Simply because it serves me to forgive. It is better to forgive than to hold on to the bitterness of unforgiveness. But a recent event has caused me to question not the importance or value of forgiveness but the extent of it. Does forgiveness include acceptance of the offender? When acceptance of the offender would be detrimental to me. As in; forgiving a junkie for stealing, lying, and causing you harm. You should forgive them all their trespasses. However, you should never allow them back into your home for your own well-being. Does a battered woman after forgiving the perpetrator accept him back into her life? Knowing that it is in her best interest to forgive him. Does forgiveness extend to acceptance? Now those are extreme examples, but it helps to crystallize my predicament.
Do I allow someone who I have forgiven back into my life? What about your teenager when they do something against you. Are you going to forgive them and accept them? How does that mesh with the way we would treat a junkie of an abusive partner? The easy answer is no you do not accept those that have grievously hurt you.
That answer is diametrically opposed to what Christ has done for us. He has forgiven us not just our past sins but our future sins and has accepted us as part of His family. He has forgiven us knowing that we would injure Him again. He has accepted us knowing that we would cause Him harm. Is that an example of Christ I cannot follow? Or are forgiveness and acceptance two separate issues?