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Forgiveness & Repentence

Discussion in 'Autism & Aspergers' started by HouseCat71, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. HouseCat71

    HouseCat71 .

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    Another thread about forgiveness piqued my interest...mostly because I struggle with these issues and cannot comprehend the emotional mechanics behind them. I know both are required for salvation and our own forgiveness, but I struggle with how to make it....work? Click? Activate?

    Should there be an emotional part of these two things? For instance; My first husband beat the snot out of me, cheated on me and did drugs. There were atrocious things he did/said to me...and just being who he was, I can't process any sort of forgiveness for him; even after 20 years. I feel like he should be punished horribly and even if he was sorry, I don't see why me pardoning him will change the past, present or future.

    I can't comprehend the necessity of it. Nothing clicks in my brain when I'm told "In order for Jesus to forgive you, you must forgive others." Ok, so I say, "ex-husband who treated me bad? I forgive you." Nothing happens in my heart/brain. I still feel anger, resentment and a desire that he receives a horrible comeuppance for being the awful person he is and what he did to me. I'll never forget what he did and part of me even hopes he goes to hell for it. That is probably unforgivable in itself....SO, how do I get myself in compliance with this Biblical directive? I can't emote on this.... I cannot neurologically get a feeling of...whatever forgiveness even is to activate! That's the best I can describe it.

    As for Repentance? Ugh...same thing. I know we must be repentant to have the process of Salvation come full circle. We must realize we are sinners, check! Believe in Jesus Christ and that he died for our sins and rose from the grave, check! Then we must repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness....err.... I want to. I have a million times. Really. I want to FEEL repentant. Sorry for all the horrible things I say/do on a daily basis. I KNOW I mess up and I am a sinner. Soooo... I look repentance up. It's an act of feeling remorse or regret.

    I feel nothing. It just...doesn't happen. In turn, that makes me wonder if i'm even pre-destined to be saved. If I'm not part of the elect...if I've been given over to a reprobate mind and abandoned because I can't truly feel remorse. I know these things disappoint the Lord and I don't want to do them. I don't want to disappoint Him and I do try to correct my behavior. I've made great strides trying to get rid of my cursing habit. I've tried not to think ill of my awful neighbor and wish her misfortune. These are works though... and that is another can of worms I struggle with as an autistic. Allll these shiny/sparkly/happy things we're supposed to FEEL and want to do...does not compute. Program error!

    Do any other Aspies/Autistics suffer from lack of emotions and/or have hangups like this?
     
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  2. Peter J Barban

    Peter J Barban Well-Known Member

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    1. Meditate often on Matthew 18:21-35 The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Put yourself in the place of the unmerciful servant and your enemy in the place of the poor man with a small debt. That is the way God sees you.

    2. By an act of your will, bless your enemy. It is as simple as, God, bless Mr. X and give him every good thing. Don't pray to change him, just bless. You could specifically pray that God gives him all the good things that you want for yourself.

    Do this every time that you feel angry with your enemy. This will be difficult at first, but if you don't quit, eventually your feelings will change. You will be filled with mercy and grace instead of condemnation.

    At first, your feelings will work against this, but if you build a habit of blessing him, your feelings will follow.
     
  3. HouseCat71

    HouseCat71 .

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply but this parable confuses me how it relates to my dilemma.

    When I say that I have an inability to FEEL these concepts; forgiveness and repentance....it is a LITERAL sense....not, I am so angry that I just can't/don't want to forgive sense. I'm wondering if any other autistics out there have this defect? I hope God understands...I do want these feelings, and I understand why they're necessary, but my brain is unable to produce them, whether its from brain damage, chemical imbalance, or what...?

    On another note, I'm curious...does the other person who wronged me HAVE to apologize in order for me to be required to forgive them?
     
  4. Coleton Bryce Ritmanich

    Coleton Bryce Ritmanich John 3:16

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    The "Feeling" of repentance as well as being saved isn't the right logic. There is no emotion to it. I'm an Aspie too. Simply say, "I forgive you." And prove it through logical action. Like, don't bring up the past when someone hurt you, or use it against them.

    You cannot go by feelings or emotions. But by what the bible says the right actions are. If your life lines up with the word of God, then you're saved. That's all there is to it. Of course, it's through the death and resurrection of Christ that makes that possible. Now if you ask for forgiveness and truly repent, "Change your ways" then you will be saved.

    No feelings to it.
     
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  5. Tempura

    Tempura Noob Supporter

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    I don't have any kind of autism, but perhaps you won't mind me chiming in (if this is against the rules, then the mods will remove it I guess).

    Feelings are merely suggestions of the real thing. Feelings themselves are not the real thing. If you can't produce feeling X, then you can't. God absolutely understands what we are, and I don't believe He uses any condition or illness against us.

    What you speak of is very relevant for people with strong feelings too, such as myself. They are too strong for me, especially fear, and I get easily confused by them, and I often have to resist them with a conscious decision. If you are confused because you don't have much feelings, I am confused because mine are so strong.

    It's where your heart is. If you want to forgive, but don't feel it, it's okay. You want to forgive, so you do so. You just don't hold the offense against the person anymore, and you consider them forgiven on your part. It's a choice. And someone like me, who so easily holds to anger, I have to bypass my own feelings and ask God to forgive this person, grant me a more forgiving heart and the ability to follow through with my forgiveness. In time, the feeling will follow for me. Forgiveness it's not only for the people who have hurt us, it's also for us. It's a relief for us too. Bitterness is a burden, it weighs heavy on our hearts. So when I can't change my feelings, I can change what I want to do. I want to forgive, I go to God with it, ask His help, His forgiveness for that person, His help for my bitterness as well.

    No, the other person doesn't have to do anything. You can forgive them without any repentance from their part. It's easier when they ask for our forgiveness, but we don't have to wait for that. It's not about the technicalities, it's about what you're aiming towards, what you desire. I keep things simple, myself.

    I like this part about repentance by CH Spurgeon. I think they are wise words and comforting for people who struggle with their repentance and get anxious/depressed over their inability:

    “I hear another man cry, “Oh, sir my want of strength lies mainly in this, that I cannot repent sufficiently!” A curious idea men have of what repentance is! Many fancy that so many tears are to be shed, and so many groans are to be heaved, and so much despair is to be endured. Whence comes this unreasonable notion? Unbelief and despair are sins, and therefore I do not see how they can be constituent elements of acceptable repentance; yet there are many who regard them as necessary parts of true Christian experience. They are in great error.

    Still, I know what they mean, for in the days of my darkness I used to feel in the same way. I desired to repent, but I thought that I could not do it, and yet all the while I was repenting. Odd as it may sound, I felt that I could not feel. I used to get into a corner and weep, because I could not weep; and I fell into bitter sorrow because I could not sorrow for sin. What a jumble it all is when in our unbelieving state we begin to judge our own condition! It is like a blind man looking at his own eyes. My heart was melted within me for fear, because I thought that my heart was as hard as an adamant stone. My heart was broken to think that it would not break. Now I can see that I was exhibiting the very thing which I thought I did not possess; but then I knew not where I was.

    Remember that the man who truly repents is never satisfied with his own repentance. We can no more repent perfectly than we can live perfectly. However pure our tears, there will always be some dirt in them: there will be something to be repented of even in our best repentance. But listen! To repent is to change your mind about sin, and Christ, and all the great things of God. There is sorrow implied in this; but the main point is the turning of the heart from sin to Christ. If there be this turning, you have the essence of true repentance, even though no alarm and no despair should ever have cast their shadow upon your mind.”

     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  6. HouseCat71

    HouseCat71 .

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    I CAN DO THAT!!!


    I LOVE THIS. You have no idea what a huge burden has been lifted from my soul today.

    Thank you both.
     
  7. Coleton Bryce Ritmanich

    Coleton Bryce Ritmanich John 3:16

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    You're welcome, now don't forget to let us know how you're blessed life is from now on from time to time. That's a form of sharing your testimony and praising God.
     
  8. JAM2b

    JAM2b Newbie

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    Feelings and emotions are tricky. They are supposed to alert us to a situation or circumstance. They do not define reality. Sometimes the feelings can be wrong or misapplied or triggered by something we are not consciously aware of. How we feel is something that none of us have control of. People who say you can or should choose how you feel or what mood you are in, are simply playing games with themselves to get a pseudo-control of their emotions and cope with situations or difficult decisions. What they are really doing is suppressing feelings they don't want and faking the ones they do.

    I'm explaining this because it's important to understand that feeling don't create our reality and don't always reflect reality.

    A good source is Rabbi Schneider, who is a Messianic Jewish (Christian) Evangelist. He sometimes talks about how feelings are not as important as we think they are. For most people feelings can come and go, and often without us knowing why. What matters is what you believe and what you choose to do, and if continue to keep trying.

    Jeremiah 17:9-10 is a good scripture for this.
    The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
    “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  9. timf

    timf Regular Member

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    Forgiveness is tricky because it is something that cannot really be done unilaterally. Consider 1 Jn 1:9. This does not describe the forgiveness we get for sin we get with salvation. This describes our relationship with God.

    If we "confess" (homologos) to say the same words about what we have done that God would, brings us into alignment with truth and that restores a relationship.

    To forgive a brother (fellow believer) he has to ask for forgiveness, the relationship cannot be restored unless he acknowledges his fault (alignment with truth).

    If the person does not ask for or want forgiveness, the relationship cannot be restored. If we have been hurt, it can be more helpful for us to consider the offender not with anger, but sorrow for one so lost and far from truth that they face eternity without God.
     
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