Why Christians Don’t Forgive and Whimsical Wednesday

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Morning! I’m a little late getting our Whimsical Wednesday blogger linkup party going. Sorry about that! In case you missed my Facebook post yesterday, I felt I should share it with you.

I try to keep the Facebook page focused on encouraging you and meeting your needs. But I felt like I should share with you what I shared with family and friends today. With our daughter, Taylor’s 18th birthday coming up soon, this morning she had a dr’s appointment/well visit. Because her age carries legal responsibility, we had to have forms completed that state her disabilities. It’s a hard thing to watch your child labelled for legal purposes, but I refuse to see that label. I see a beautiful miracle whom God has used to point people to what matters most every day.Thank you for all the prayers for our girl. Matt and I are thankful for each day we have with her!

I’m going to forego posting the article I had planned for today so that we are not further delayed for our linkup party. If you have a minute to comment on your experience on why Christians don’t forgive, I’m currently writing on that topic. Could you answer one of the following?

1. Have you ever withheld forgiveness and then something happened and it was too late? How did you cope with that?

2. Why do you think people remain unforgiving, even as Christians?


I’m so thankful for each of you that come by to link up each week and pray that the Lord blesses your ministry of encouragement through blogging. I’ll look forward to taking a peek at what you’re writing this week and have a wonderful Whimsical Wednesday!

new whimsical wed



  1. I think we don’t really understand forgiveness. Somehow we’ve equated it with apologizing, or it means that the offender “gets away” with his offense, or we equate forgiveness with reinstating trust.

    Forgiving someone is to acknowledge an offence and not demand justice for it. It does not mean that I will immediately trust the offender again, with the same level of trust I had before.

    To forgive an offender is a command directly from Jesus’s lips.

    Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

    In this short verse, the Offended is to go to the offender with the goal of restoration. Restoration is not possible without forgiveness. Jesus elaborates on this in the following verses.

    In my own life, I have been deeply wounded by another’s sin. For the sake of that person’s soul, and our relationship, forgiveness was the only option. The wound was too deep to just look over the offense. I pleaded with God. I knew what He wanted, but I knew that I was simply not capable of forgiving on my own. I had to look at the offender, not in the light of our relationship, but in the fact that he, too, was a sinner saved by grace, and my brother in Christ. If my Saviour died for him, who was I to withhold grace. Anyway, I had to write out the words that needed to be said. “I felt…. when you did…. because…. This is serious because the Bible says…..”.

    It’s been a few years since that time. I am trusting that person again, and trusting God with my fear of this recurring.

    1. oh Kara. So good. I love the process of steps you took. Yesterday afternoon when I was writing on the topic, I kept coming back to the word you mentioned above: restoration. This really is the problem we have as Christians- restoring relationships. Whew, it’s tough. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I’ve withheld (am still) forgiveness to my mother in law for some remarks she has made about me in the past that hurt me deeply.
    I agree with Tessa W and Marianne, I feel like if I do let it go that she’s “getting away with” saying those things, but yes, ultimately my being bitter, hurt, angry, unforgiving only hurts ME and my family (my attitude towards her makes their visits very uncomfortable for my husband).
    I find I’ve easily forgiven many others for wrongs done or things said, but I am clinging to my anger towards her. I pray every night to let it go, and God has given me the tools, the words, all I need to let it go, and I can say it is getting easier as each day passes. But I’m being my stubborn self.
    I think people remain unforgiving, even as Christians, because we want the person who hurt us to acknowlege the hurt. Or perhaps we don’t fully understand how powerful forgiveness is. We feel like if we forgive then they “win” – not a very nice way to live, not a very good Christian way to live, but we are falliable humans and I think most of us do the best we can, and strive to be better every day. I sure do.
    Thank you Rachel for posting this and reminding me about how important forgiveness is.

  3. My experience has been that in the “beginning” most Christians ARE forgiving. When the situation does not change/continues/disintegrates further they become angry that their “gift” of forgiveness has not been acknowledged and reciprocated and begin to withhold it. Relationships are so hard even when they are healthy – we need to remember how much we have been forgiven each and every day so that we don’t end up in a state of regret…

  4. I think Christians sometimes refuse to forgive because they believe forgiving someone is allowing the person to get away with whatever they did. Withholding that forgiveness can feel like you are punishing the other person but you truly are just hurting yourself. As a Christian, it is best to leave the judgement up to God, instead of letting that sin weave into your heart. Perhaps it is prideful to hold onto someone else’s sin.
    The difficulty that my husband and I face is that we have forgiven and would like to rebuild relationships but the other party refuses to give us that opportunity to rebuild. I don’t like to think of the consequences of us not rebuilding that relationship before it’s too late.

    1. That is tough when someone won’t forgive you. And I did’t ask in the blog, but what about situations where you didn’t do anything wrong and need to ask someone to forgive you for something you didn’t do or just for hurting their feelings because they think you were intentional? Gets sticky, doesn’t it?

  5. Hey, Rachel! Your graphic is so eloquent. I love the idea of unfastening that circle that keeps me bound. Doing so accomplishes two things. I offer forgiveness, and I receive forgiveness. I think, sometimes, as a Christian I figure forgiveness is a form of condoning what happened. It’s not. It’s a pathway through difficulty that allows us to start anew, and it’s a grace from God.

  6. I think Christians often remain unforgiving because they simply do not understand the depth of grace that they have received. If we could only comprehend how much we’ve been forgiven and how much forgiveness sets us free, we wouldn’t hesitate resolve our hurts immediately – if only in our own hearts….but especially in restoring relationships inasmuch as we are able. I have been one who withheld forgiveness and can certainly testify to the bondage it creates in one’s heart.

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