70 x7 Really?

(Timothy Loraditch) #1

Jesus tells Peter to forgive a brother of sister seventy seven times (or seventy times seven depending on translation) in Matt 18:22. Even if we don’t take that literaly there are still people who will take advantage of us as much as we let them get aways with. Even our brothers and sisters can be guilty of this. Should we let them?

(Andrea L) #2

As I undestand it, forgiveness does not mean the lack of (healthy) boundaries.
Fooled twice so saying no for the third time? Why not? And if they feel offended by it than letting them deal with that (my experience is that if someone faces a sudden, unexpected “no”, then they might - unintentionally - start using manipulation to have it turned into a yes or at least make us feel guilty and condemned).
In relation to being offended I have come to this (painful) conclusion:

Does it make sense?

(Timothy Loraditch) #3

Thank you for responding. I understand what you are saying but I don’t see the concept of healthy boundaries in Jesus’ teaching or anywhere else in the bible. If you do please let me know, I may be over looking them. The only boundary I see is trust in God.

In the case of the rich young ruler He told him to give away ALL that he had. I know that we can not expect everyone to give all of their wealth away, but I think we can make a case the Jesus wants us to give away everything that stands in the way of us following Him. Jesus tells us to give to whomever asks Matt 5:42. I don’t hear a lot of boundaries in that statement. Where does God tell us to use common sense? Most of what I read seams to lean toward reckless abandon centered on Christ.

(Timothy Loraditch) #4

I was reading in my devotional this morning about Mitsuo Fuchida This man lead the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1942. After the war, he found a friend who was captured by the Americans at Midway. Fuchida was amazed to hear that as a prisoner of war the Japanese were treated well. In fact, there was a woman, Peggy Covell, who came to prison camps to care for the inmates. When asked she told them her parents were missionaries in the Philippians. They were assumed to be spies and killed by the Japanese. This made them her enemies and Jesus said to love your enemies.

Fuchida eventually converts to Christianity and tells his story in a book titled "from “Pearl Harbor to Golgotha” Hardcover – 1953 you can get a kindle version for 99 cents on Amazon

Peggy did not live life with boundaries.

(Andrea L) #5

I hope I understand what you mean, your examples are valid, they show genuine forgiveness and love.
Let me show an example what I mean by boundary. Let’s say a girl was sexually abused by her father when she was little. She becomes a follower of Jesus and forgives her father. Do you think it is wrong if she doesn’t let her daughter be babysitted by her father alone / without constant supervision for an overnight, or maybe at all ? For me that’s a healthy boundary. And in my eyes a necessary one. How do you see it?

(Andrea L) #6

concept of healthy boundaries in Jesus’ teaching (Sorty, I can’t do proper quoting on my phone)
I see this one as an example of setting up boundaries:
“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭21:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

(Timothy Loraditch) #7

@andrea.l I would agree, without any reservation, that the father should not be supervising any children. However, this example complicated the discussion a bit. It involves a third person, the child. This example comes under the concept of caring for others and protecting children. Previously we were only looking at our own personal involvement. I can put myself at risk for the gospel, but not someone else.

The example does, however, touch on the concept of forgiveness vs trust. I can truly forgive someone with my whole heart but know that they can not be trusted in certain situations like with the example you offer. It can be said that not trusting the father with children is protecting both the children and not placing a stumbling block in front of the father. This I think is a biblical position.

(Timothy Loraditch) #8

@andrea.l I see what you mean by this example of boundaries. Once again I see this as being a little different. Jesus was not being personally injured by sin. The money changers were violating God’s temple. I can see correcting bad behavior within the church as a very biblical concept. I can see how that would be seen as a boundary, but where is the boundary in our personal sacrifice in the service of the gospel? Where do we draw the line and say no more? I’m not saying it’s not there.

In your other example of the daughter who was abused, I can agree that once abused she should seek to be removed from an abusive situation. As a Christian, I would see the calling to care for both the victim and the abuser, just in very different ways. I guess I do see a boundary here. I am just looking for scriptural corroboration.

(Andrea L) #9

Thanks for the thought-provoking conversation!
If there’s no one else to protect I think still can be situations when being wise means setting up a boundary. Such as someone living in an abusive relationship, beaten up one day and begged for forgiveness and being promised never ever the next day, few months later all repeated, and becoming a recurring pattern. This is another example when I think leaving - until the abusive partner seeks help and deals the root issues of their behaviour - is a necesssary, or even life-saving action.
Or someone asking for money for food, and after a few times you realise it goes on alcohol/drugs/gambling/etc. Would you give next time?
Concerning forgiveness and boundaries I have found this one:
“"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:15-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬