Devotions based on James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community

Even though we are called to forgive there are boundaries. We are called to bear one another’s burdens but we are not called to be repeatedly harmed by someone else. There are times we must remove ourselves from persons or situations that take advantage of us or hurt us. “To forgive is not to be abused”.

We must also take care that our need to feel forgiven doesn’t disregard the hurt it can cause someone else.  For example one gal got up at a meeting and knelt before another pastor and told how she had bad feelings and anger towards him etc. It embarrassed the pastor that she did it front of the group and would have been better if she had sought him out privately. It was a private matter not public.  Sometimes it can even be malicious where someone invites another person out for coffee and then “ambushes” him to say how he has been hurt him by him but has forgiven him. If one truly forgives, he doesn’t have to be showy. How much better if he just invited the person out for coffee and deepened the friendship with healthy conversation and maybe a time of prayer together.  If we have come to the place where we have forgiven someone, let us keep it between us and the Lord. Love covers a multitude of sins! (I Peter 4:8)