When Should Law Forgive?

When Should Law Forgive
2. When law forgives, does that undermine the law itself? – As noted in the last point above, law can make individuals more or less likely to personally forgive. If law forgives too much, it undermines itself. It’s seen as too mutable. Minow writes: If courts forgo warranted legal consequences in favor of individualized forgiveness by legal actors, and if they use law to support individual forgiveness, they could well risk undermining the law’s predictability, adherence to rules, deterrence, fairness, and objectivity.

  • This is connected to the idea of accountability.
  • If your brother can steal your cow and not be punished, what is stopping him from doing it again? What if all cow stealers are not punished? Then the law itself comes under scrutiny and loses its legitimacy.
  • On the flip side, if law doesn’t forgive enough, it undermines itself.

It’s seen as too rigid. Minow quotes from Justice Anthony Kennedy: “A people confident in its laws and institutions should not be ashamed of mercy.” When the government has legitimacy and the people’s trust, it is ok to forgive because the people aren’t worried about the law’s consistency in general.
2. When law forgives, does that undermine the law itself? – As noted in the last point above, law can make individuals more or less likely to personally forgive. If law forgives too much, it undermines itself. It’s seen as too mutable. Minow writes: If courts forgo warranted legal consequences in favor of individualized forgiveness by legal actors, and if they use law to support individual forgiveness, they could well risk undermining the law’s predictability, adherence to rules, deterrence, fairness, and objectivity.

This is connected to the idea of accountability. If your brother can steal your cow and not be punished, what is stopping him from doing it again? What if all cow stealers are not punished? Then the law itself comes under scrutiny and loses its legitimacy. On the flip side, if law doesn’t forgive enough, it undermines itself.

When Should Law Forgive?: A Conversation with Martha Minow

It’s seen as too rigid. Minow quotes from Justice Anthony Kennedy: “A people confident in its laws and institutions should not be ashamed of mercy.” When the government has legitimacy and the people’s trust, it is ok to forgive because the people aren’t worried about the law’s consistency in general.

What happens when God forgive our sins?

Do Christians have to keep asking for forgiveness for their sins? Question Answer A frequent question is “what happens if I sin, and then I die before I have an opportunity to confess that sin to God?” Another common question is “what happens if I commit a sin, but then forget about it and never remember to confess it to God?” Both of these questions rest on a faulty assumption.

Salvation is not a matter of believers trying to confess and repent from every sin they commit before they die. Salvation is not based on whether a Christian has confessed and repented of every sin. Yes, we should confess our sins to God as soon as we are aware that we have sinned. However, we do not always need to be asking God for forgiveness.

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, all of our sins are forgiven. That includes past, present, and future, big or small. Believers do not have to keep asking for forgiveness or repenting in order to have their sins forgiven. Jesus died to pay the penalty for all of our sins, and when they are forgiven, they are all forgiven (Colossians 1:14; Acts 10:43).

  1. What we are to do is confess our sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
  2. What this verse tells us to do is “confess” our sins to God.
  3. The word “confess” means “to agree with.” When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that we were wrong, that we have sinned.

God forgives us, through confession, on an ongoing basis because of the fact that He is “faithful and just.” How is God “faithful and just”? He is faithful by forgiving sins, which He has promised to do for all those who receive Christ as Savior. He is just by applying Christ’s payment for our sins, recognizing that the sins have indeed been atoned for.

  1. At the same time, 1 John 1:9 does indicate that somehow forgiveness is dependent on our confessing our sins to God.
  2. How does this work if all of our sins are forgiven the moment we receive Christ as Savior? It seems that what the apostle John is describing here is “relational” forgiveness.
  3. All of our sins are forgiven “positionally” the moment we receive Christ as Savior.

This positional forgiveness guarantees our salvation and promise of an eternal home in heaven. When we stand before God after death, God will not deny us entrance into heaven because of our sins. That is positional forgiveness. The concept of relational forgiveness is based on the fact that when we sin, we offend God and grieve His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

  • While God has ultimately forgiven us of the sins we commit, they still result in a blocking or hindrance in our relationship with God.
  • A young boy who sins against his father is not cast out of the family.
  • A godly father will forgive his children unconditionally.
  • At the same time, a good relationship between father and son cannot be achieved until the relationship is restored.
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This can only occur when a child confesses his mistakes to his father and apologizes. That is why we confess our sins to God—not to maintain our salvation, but to bring ourselves back into close fellowship with the God who loves us and has already forgiven us.

What happens when you never forgive?

What Happens When You Don’t Forgive? – By holding onto that desire to get even, you continually drink the toxic poison of unforgiveness, hoping to get back at the person who hurt you. I have heard it said that holding onto unforgiveness is like continually drinking rat poison, hoping the rat will die.

By holding onto the desire to get even, you continually drink the toxic poison of unforgiveness, hoping to get back at the person who hurt you. Not only does it sound crazy, but it doesn’t work! Unforgiveness is like a boomerang-you can throw it at the person who has hurt you, but it eventually comes back and hits you.

Unforgiving People Can Become.

Prideful Angry Resentful Bitter Vengeful Hostile Judgmental Lonely Fearful Joyless Defensive Exhausted Blaming Irrational Violent Manipulative Non-Communicative Self-Destructive Indifferent To Helpful Advice Emotionally Dead Untrusting Self-Absorbed Negative Cynical Self-Righteous Stubborn Hopeless Spiritually Bankrupt

If you are refusing to forgive someone, which of these descriptions fit you best? Prideful people set themselves up as a higher judge than God Himself, who is continually willing and waiting to forgive. Surely none of us would ever want any of these negative qualities to define who we are.

But sadly, many people let these crippling characteristics consume their lives, simply because of pride.the root of unforgiveness. Prideful people set themselves up as even a higher judge than God Himself, who is continually willing and waiting to forgive, That is why we often say, ” When you choose to forgive, you free the offender, but more importantly, you free yourself.” Jasmine commented on how forgiveness is found when you set yourself free of bitterness: It helps you a lot! But most people, including myself, think when you forgive someone, you’re helping them in some way, and not yourself.

That’s not true. A lot of people need to understand that forgiving someone doesn’t just help the person who has hurt you. It especially helps YOU! The bottom line of this blog is simple. Do yourself a big favor.FORGIVE! For more on forgiveness, read my blog, How to Forgive Someone that Deeply Hurt You,

What to do when someone refuses to forgive you?

  • Reflect. Ironically,a common reaction to being confronted with someone else’s hurt is anger.
  • Make amends. Try to make amends. If you are sorry,say so.
  • Forgive yourself. Don’t minimize what you have done. Your actions affect other people and it is important to fully take that knowledge in.

How to forgive someone that deeply hurt you?

Download Article Learn to let go and be the bigger person Download Article It can be very challenging to forgive someone who has hurt you. However, being able to truly forgive a person for hurting you can help you to feel better and maybe even mend your relationship. Forgiving someone for hurting you has been shown to relieve stress, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in the process.

  1. 1 Let go of your resentment. If you resent the person for the harm he or she has caused, then you’ll never be able to move on, both in your own life and in continuing your relationship. Accept that what has been done is done, by saying things like, “I am angry because _ broke my trust and I accept that this has happened” and “I accept what has happened and how it made me feel”.
    • Accept what the person has done to you and recognize that you have no control over it. However, you can control how you react to the situation.
    • Recognize your own flaws and possible ways you have hurt people to help you accept the wrongdoing and release your resentment. Everyone makes mistakes, and recognizing your own mistakes will help you understand the mistakes the person who hurt you.
    • It won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you aim to let go of your resentment, the sooner it will become a priority. Focus moving forward instead of stewing.
  2. 2 Examine the bigger picture. As you move on your path toward forgiveness, take a step back and think about how serious the pain that has been caused really is. Is the act truly forgivable, or is it something you won’t even think about in a month? Think, “will it matter in the morning?”. Only you can decide.
    • Include your personal morals and beliefs in your analysis of the big picture. If you are strongly against cheating, and your partner has cheated on you, then your moral compass may not allow you to forgive them. However, if you personally believe you work through infidelity, then you can move towards forgiveness.

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  3. 3 Think of all the good in your relationship. Do you enjoy spending time with the person because they are funny or you have intelligent conversations together? Do you make a good team raising your children? Are you sexually satisfied? Make a list of all the great things about your platonic or romantic relationship with the person who has hurt you.
    • Start by noting smaller positive attributes, such as, “they take the trash out” or “they send me helpful links at work”, then move into bigger positive attributes such as personality or good deeds they do.
  4. 4 Talk to someone about the situation. If you’re feeling really hurt and upset about what happened, talking to someone else about it can help you gain some valuable perspective. Instead of mulling it over on your own or isolating yourself, talk to another person to help you gain some insight and to feel like you’re less alone.
    • You might not want to talk with too many people and risk getting an overwhelming amount of opinions. Select a few trusted friends or family members whose opinions you highly value.
  5. 5 Let time pass. Another important aspect of forgiving someone is being able to take some time to just be alone with your thoughts. If someone has really wronged you, whether your boyfriend has cheated on you or your best friend has been saying hurtful things behind your back, it’s important to take some time to get space and spend some time on your own.
    • If you live with that person who has hurt you, you may need to find another place to stay for a while, if possible. If you don’t live together, then make it clear that you need some time away from each other and that you’ll reach out when you’re ready.
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  1. 1 Think before you speak. Prepare how you want to start the conversation and what you want to say before you initiate the conversation. Though you may be feeling bitter, anger, hurt, or confused, you should find a way to delicately state these emotions instead of exploding or saying something you don’t really mean.
    • Before you open your mouth to say anything, ask yourself how it will sound or come across to the other person. Your words could be hurtful towards them, and then you are in the position of forgiving and having to be forgiven.
    • Try writing down exactly what you want to say, and even practice in front of a mirror, to get it exactly how you want.
  2. 2 Express your feelings. As part of your conversation, tell the other person how his or her actions made you feel. Be as honest as possible, expressing the pain you have been going through. Be open about your feelings to show that the person has really hurt you and that you have had a hard time dealing with it. Make eye contact and speak slowly, showing that you really mean what you say.
    • Use “I statements” such as “I felt hurt when you cheated on me because I’ve been loyal and devoted, and I thought you felt the same way.” Or, “I felt upset when you were gossiping about me because I don’t think I have done anything to deserve it.”
    • Use the general formula of, “I felt_ when _ because _”. Focus on expressing your feelings instead of the negative things they did.
  3. 3 Listen to their side of the story. There are always two sides to a coin. Hear the other person out and listen to what they have to say. Let the person talk without interrupting them, and try to see the situation from his or her side of the story.
    • To be a good listener, make eye contact, put away distractions such as your phone, and be open minded. Also, try to provide appropriate feedback by asking clarifying question or paraphrasing what they said.
    • For example, after they say something, clarify and paraphrase the statement by saying, “so what you said was”
    • Do not be combative or defensive. Take deep breaths or step away from the situation if you get angry from something they say.
  4. 4 Show compassion. Compassion may be the last thing you want to show when you feel like you’ve been truly hurt. However, if you put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about how he or she may be feeling, then you may find it in your heart not to be so angry or upset with the other person. Ask question and set aside your prejudices. Really listen and open up to the person.
    • Empathy and forgiveness are tightly linked and it will be nearly impossible to forgive someone without feeling empathy for them.
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  1. 1 Take some time apart if you need it. Assess whether or not you need some physical time away from the person who hurt you. If you do, then there’s no shame in saying you need a few weeks, a few months, or just that you want to be apart until you’re ready for more time together.
    • Be honest. Say something like, “I’m just not quite ready to start hanging out again. I hope you can respect that.”
  2. 2 Take small steps to mend your relationship. Once you’re ready to move forward with the person, slowly ease back into the relationship. Things might not go back to normal right away. Hang out only once or twice a week instead of every day or hang out in groups before you do some of the more intimate, personal things you used to do together.
    • If it’s a romantic relationship, treat it like going on a first date. You don’t have to hug, cuddle, or hold hands like you did before if you’re just not ready.
    • In addition to taking small steps in getting your relationship back on track, learning to fully forgive will take small steps and practice. So mending your relationship slowly will help you become better at forgiveness.
  3. 3 Let go of the past. Avoid dwelling on the past as you move forward with your relationship. Continuing to think about the past will limit your trust of the person, leading to a stifled relationship. You do not necessarily need to “forgive and forget”; instead forgive and learn from the experience.
    • When you catch yourself dwelling on the past, focus on the present moment instead. Be mindful by taking a deep breath and focusing on exactly what is in front of you; the smell in the room, the conversation with your friend, etc
  4. 4 Decide whether you can truly forgive and move on. Get real with yourself. Admit to yourself if you can’t really forgive the person. Unfortunately, there may be a situation where you think you are ready to forgive someone and then realize that you’re just not able to do it once you start spending time together again.
    • Continuing with a platonic or romantic relationship after you have realized you are unable to forgive them is bad for both of you. You might become bitter or resent them which is unhealthy. Once you have realized that forgiveness might not be in the cards, cut the relationship off as soon as possible.
  5. 5 Forgive and love yourself. A crucial part of forgiveness and moving forward after you forgive is to love and forgive yourself. You are probably much harder on yourself then you are with others. You may feel unlovable or like you have been too hard on the person who hurt you.
    • Realize that you have done the best you could at the time and accept the events that occurred. Try to cut yourself some slack and learn to self-love by thinking kind thoughts about yourself and read self-help books.
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Question How do I forgive someone who wronged me? Moshe Ratson is the Executive Director of spiral2grow Marriage & Family Therapy, a coaching and therapy clinic in New York City. Moshe is an International Coach Federation accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He received his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Iona College. Marriage & Family Therapist Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Take time to journal about your feelings and find a deeper understanding before you forgive them. That way, you’ll be able to articulate yourself better. Just be honest with how you feel and work out how you both can move on from the issue.

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  • If you have nobody to talk to and don’t want or can’t afford a therapist try writing or drawing your feelings out.
  • Find a way to express your feelings-drawing, writing, exercise, etc.
  • Kindness can be used to your advantage. Most of the time, the other party will truly recognize what damage they have caused you as they attempt to grasp the idea of someone forgiving them after what they have done.

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  • Do not feel pressured to forgive someone. Forgiveness is a choice that is yours alone. Someone who pressures you to forgive them might not be worthy of your forgiveness. They should respect your decisions.
  • If your significant other wronged you, and you still love them. It may be a good idea to forgive them, and continue being with that person. You need to forgive, and learn from that experience, that you went through. Or else, you will lose that very person altogether, and it may be really hard to get them back!

Advertisement Article Summary X It can be difficult to forgive someone who hurt you, but by thinking through the relationship and having an honest conversation, it will be easier to move forward. Before you forgive the person, examine the relationship and whether the good outweighs the things they did to hurt you.

  1. If you can’t think straight, try talking to a trusted friend or family member.
  2. They may be able to offer you valuable advice and give you a stronger sense of what to do next.
  3. Once you’ve decided to forgive the person, talk to them so you can get your feelings out in the open.
  4. Try to use “I” statements, such as “I felt hurt when you cheated on me because I’ve been loyal and devoted,” since these will prevent the other person from becoming defensive.

Although it might be hard, make sure to listen to their response, since this will help you see their side of the story. To learn how to take small steps to move forward with your relationship, read more from our co-author. Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 513,708 times.