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What forgiveness is not (P.1)

Updated: Mar 13


Vaṇakkam (வணக்கம்) green olive tree! Mè yéga teberinth of justice! Seek that which contributes to peace, justice and edification according to JESUS CHRIST (Romans 14:19). Let nothing erase in you the awareness of his love, his presence, his truth and his justice. The Three Kings had no need to ask where the child was (Matthew 2:2). They could have waited for the star to reappear. The scribes and priests told Herod that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but none of them accompanied the wise men (Matthew 2:5-12, Micah 5:1). Did they want to protect the child or were they so naive as to believe that Herod would not try to kill him? I don't have the answer, but here's what I do know: GOD leads, provides and protects. May wisdom and discernment spare you unnecessary fighting.


Forgiveness is not an end in itself. It is a beginning. I cannot write the sixth article on the prayer of petition (forgive us our trespasses), without taking the time to explain what forgiveness is and what forgiveness is not. My aim is to be faithful to the LORD's recommendations, to help as many as possible and to allow the translators to have a full understanding of my writing. I have chosen to begin with what forgiveness is not.



Part 1: GOD is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Justice and fairness are the foundation of his throne. Goodness and faithfulness are before his face. Love and Truth are inseparable.

  1. Forgiveness is not denial

  2. Forgiveness is not forgetting

  3. Forgiveness does not cancel the judgment of GOD, the tribunal of CHRIST, and the duty to repent

  4. Forgiveness does not approve evil and does not cancel the right and duty to protect: justify vs. forgive vs. excuse vs. tolerate, repent vs. be sorry, guilt vs. responsibility, revenge vs. justice.

Part 2: Healing is for those who believe and restoration is for those who obey.

5. Forgiveness is neither healing nor restoration of the soul: Healing + witnessing => Restoration + strengthening others.


Part 3: The commandment is to love your neighbor, not to be intimate with your neighbor. NO to bad company and toxic relationships. GOD does not divide, he separates.

6. Forgiveness is not reconciliation

7. Forgiveness is not a feeling

8. Forgiveness is not an obligation: it is a choice



Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in CHRIST GOD forgave you.

(Ephesians 4:32, NIV)

JESUS said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

(Luke 23:34, NIV)

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back [epistrepho, Strong n°1994, Greek], strengthen your brothers.”

(Luke 22: 21-32, NIV)


To the Jews who had believed him, JESUS said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

(John 8:31-32, NIV)




1. Forgiveness is not the denial of the offense, of the pain, or the repression of emotions.


❖ " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, NIV).


In psychoanalysis, denial is the conscious or unconscious refusal to acknowledge reality as it is. It is a defense mechanism (which can go as far as amnesia) when faced with an emotional shock, a frightening, embarrassing, threatening, or traumatic reality. The person concerned changes the meaning of the facts or gives them an imaginary interpretation. Denial can be :

  • The symptom of a psychic illness

  • The manifestation of demonic oppression, influence, or hold.


Denial: impairs judgment, creates illusions, and therefore prevents correction, repair, healing, and protection. We must learn to well manage our emotions, not repress them. Even less, let them dominate us. This is only possible with the assistance of the HOLY SPIRIT. GOD does not deny, he heals. " He heals the brokenhearted, And binds up their wounds." (Psalms 147:3, LSG). Only the one who recognizes that he needs salvation is saved. JESUS says, "It is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick." (Luke 5:33, LSG) " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, LSG). To come is a verb of action. Coming to JESUS implies acknowledging that we are tired and burdened. He never asked us to live in denial.


GOD resides in truth, not in illusions. Faith does not deny reality. It looks at reality with the eyes of GOD (Love, Truth, Holiness). Faith hears what GOD says, believes what GOD says, says what GOD says, and does what GOD says. Then what has been said, becomes reality. It is written, "Now faith is a firm assurance of things hoped for, a demonstration of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1, LSG) It is also written "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing comes from the word of CHRIST (Romans 10:17, NIV). Faith is based on truth, not on lies, illusions, impressions or feelings.




2. Forgiveness is not forgetting.


I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25, NIV).


Forgetting is a neurobiological process, not a decision. The human brain cannot remember everything all the time. The memory adapts by discarding information that is considered obsolete, irrelevant, or undesirable.


JESUS suffered and gave his life for all. Before he died he said "FATHER, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (John 23:34) There are scars on his back, hands, feet, and side (John 20:25-28, John 19:1, Isaiah 9:4, Isaiah 50:6, John 19:34). He perfectly remembers when, how and why these scars are on his body. Yet he can show and tell about them without hatred, anger or sorrow. On the contrary, from him emanates only peace, joy, compassion, love and truth.


GOD is not amnesiac, he is omniscient. He knows perfectly well what is, was, will be, could be, and could have been. He said, "I, even I, blot out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will remember your sins no more. "(Isaiah 43:25). He did not say that the transgressions never existed. He is saying :

  • Only him can erase our transgressions.

  • He erases our transgressions for his own sake: not because we deserve it, and not because we repent 🙂 Isn't that why we must forgive?

  • He will no longer consider, mention, or to mind the transgressions. => In other words, he will not treat us according to our transgressions. Our offenses will not be the object of his thoughts.

We can ask GOD to erase certain memories from our memory. If He considers these memories useless, He will do so (usually gradually). For example, he may erase the memory of previous relationships of married people.


🙂 His purpose is not to make us amnesic but to heal us, to heal others, and as much as it depends on us, to prevent that from happening again. Some memories may disappear, naturally or by the invention of the HOLY SPIRIT but let us understand what the purpose is. Like the Apostle Paul, Nicky Cruz, Hea Woo, Helen Berhane, Joyce Meyer, and many others, it restores the soul so that, "...by the consolation of GOD we may comfort those who are in some affliction." (2 Corinthians 1:4). GOD doesn't just do miracles, he transforms lives. But how would we know if no one testifies? How can we testify if we have forgotten everything? How can we learn from the past if we have forgotten everything?


To avoid any confusion, I would like to point out that we can forget an act, incident, event, or word, without being free of anger, pain, or trauma. Dissociative traumatic amnesia, more commonly known as dissociative amnesia, is a loss of memory caused by trauma or stress. People who are affected do not remember incidents, events, or information that they would not have lost if they had forgotten in the normal way. Dissociative amnesia is an indicator of repression, not recovery.



3. Forgiveness does not cancel the judgment of GOD, the tribunal of CHRIST and the duty to repent.

7 Do not be deceived : GOD cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:7-9, NIV)


❖ "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for GOD's wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the LORD. (Romans 12:19, NIV)


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV).


But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die. (Ezekiel 18:21, NIV)


❖ “But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die. (Ezekiel 18:24, NIV)


There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in JESUS CHRIST, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romains 8:1, Martin's translation)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in CHRIST JESUS, because through CHRIST JESUS the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romains 8:1, NIV)


Justice and fairness are the foundation of your throne. Grace and faithfulness are before your face. Blessed are the people who have cause to shout for joy! LORD! They shall walk in the brightness of your face. They shall rejoice in your name all the day long, and shall glory in your justice. For you art the glory of their strength, and our horn is lifted up by your favour. For the LORD is our shield, and the Holy One of Israel is our King (Psalms 89:15-18, Ostervald 1877).


GOD judges intentions, words, and actions. He is a judge (Psalms 50:6, Isaiah 33:22, James 4:12 ). He judges with justice and fairness (Psalms 89:14-15, Psalm 98:9). His justice is perfect, no matter how and when it is manifested. He is slow to anger but not passive. So the questions are not if/when/how will GOD judge the offender? But "Do I trust His judgment enough? Will I allow myself to be overcome by evil? Will I let offense, evil or wrong define the rest of my life? Will I be an instrument of GOD (to save, bless, heal, deliver, protect, enlighten, edify) or will I be an instrument of the devil (to rob, slaughter, and destroy)?


Forgiveness and repentance are choices. We, believers, will all stand before the tribunal of CHRIST and answer for the way we have lived (Romans 14:12-13, 2 Corinthians 5:10). Those who have rejected CHRIST as SAVIOR and LORD will also be judged (Revelation 20:13-15). GOD is merciful, but He is not mocked. He knows how to discern true from false. True repentance produces fruit. He knows what is true and what is false.


We are potentially all offenders and offended. Our attitude toward others does not define how GOD should behave toward them. Nor does their attitude defines how GOD should behave towards us. GOD has placed in every human being the potential to be a blessing, a channel of blessings, and a source of blessings for many, in one or more areas. He has given his most precious possession for the salvation of all (John 3:16). But it is up to each person to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing, truth and lie.




4. Forgiveness does not approve evil and does not cancel the right and duty to protect: justify vs. forgive vs. excuse vs. tolerate, repent vs. be sorry, guilt vs. responsibility, revenge vs. justice.


❖ Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, NIV)


❖ She said, “No one, Lord.” And JESUS said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11, NKJ)


For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

(2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV)


For he (ruler) is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is GOD's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are GOD’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. ( Romans 13: 4-6, NJV)



To forgive is not to approve of evil. Forgiveness does not change good into evil. GOD is not irresponsible. He is the one who says "go and sin no more" (John 8:11). As far as possible, conflicts should be resolved amicably (Proverbs 18:17, 2 Corinthians 13:1-2, 1 Timothy 5:19-20, Matthew 18:15-17). But it is not forbidden to file a complaint before a competent court.


The purpose of revenge is to cause pain. the purpose of justice is to protect, judge, decide, punish, compensate, and as far as possible repair. Therefore forgiveness is not an excuse to lie, an excuse to be irresponsible, a moral duty to cover up a crime, a social or religious obligation not to report a crime. Forgiving verbal, physical or sexual abuse does not deprive victims, their parents, or guardians of the right to seek justice and the duty to protect. Some confusion exists only because we do not take the time to define words and the contexts in which we use them. Here are some words.


  • To justify =

    • Show the well-founded or the validity / to demonstrate / to prove

    • To prove the innocence of / defend, to exonerate someone from an accusation / to put a person free of blame

    • To put among the righteous (e.g. GOD justifies us in CHRIST) /

    • To legitimize (e.g.: the end does not justify the means).

  • To justify oneself = to give proof of one's innocence / to base oneself on valid arguments / to find pretexts for not recognizing one's wrongs or assuming one's responsibilities.


  • Right =

    • All the rules governing the relations between members of the same society; /

    • Legality,

    • Lawfulness / A right, legally or by regulation recognised to someone by a public authority, to act in a certain way, to enjoy a certain advantage; /

    • Moral possibility to act in a certain way.

    • Authoriszation, possibility, permission given to someone, by some authority, to do something.

  • Duty =

    • Having to pay money to someone,

    • (To owe) having to give him something for a commodity supplied, a service rendered, a loan; having a debt

    • Being forced to do/ Being constrained by social norms.

    • Holding something from someone, getting it from him, to have obtained it thanks to him

    • Work to be performed by a student

  • To owe oneself to someone: to devote oneself.

  • Owe : to be morally obliged to / to have or bear (a feeling or attitude) toward someone or something:


  • Forgive = release the offense. I will explain deeper in the article What forgiveness is.

  • Asking for forgiveness = asking the person who has been hurt or offended not to keep any resentment or desire for revenge. This implies first acknowledging one's wrongdoing, having the intention to change and the will to become better.

  • To tolerate = to allow, to admit, not to forbid, to bear

  • To repent = to turn from evil to good. To express sincere regret for a sin, a thought, a word, an act, or a fault, resulting in an acknowledgment of one's wrongdoing, a change of behavior, and as far as possible the intention to correct, repair, protect and prevent.

  • Be sorry =

    • Being saddened, pained, or upset about something /

    • A polite way of expressing regret or refusal.

  • To excuse =

    • Minimize the offense or injury

    • To recognize the good intention or absence of bad intention in the one who has offended, injured or committed an error.

    • Justify, exonerate a person by presenting reasons or pretexts

    • Not to hold someone in contempt, to forgive

  • Apologize = Express regret for an unintentional mistake. Examples: I apologize for being late, I was stuck in traffic / I'm sorry, I forgot we had an appointment today / Excuse me, I didn't recognize you.

  • Pretext = cause, argument, explanation that one puts forward to hide the true reason for an act.


  • Guilt =

    • Judgment on oneself, feeling of fault felt by a person that the for real or imaginary

    • State of one who is guilty of an offense or a fault

  • Responsibility =

    • Ability to consciously respond or react adequately, appropriately or appropriately to a circumstance, event, thought, word or action.

    • A Position that gives decision-making powers, but implies accountability.

    • A person or thing for which one is responsible, e.g. children are the responsibility of the parents.

    • The fact that something caused or originated damage.

  • Revenge = the act of returning evil for evil with the intention of punishing or equalizing an injury, offense, grief, insult, or dishonor.

  • Justice =

    • A moral principle that demands respect for the law and fairness.

    • A moral quality that invites respect for the rights of others.

    • Action by which the judicial power, an authority, recognizes the right or the good right of someone.

    • A sovereign function of a state consists of establishing a system to prevent, protect, settle disputes, judge fairly, and as far as possible repair or compensate for wrongs, based on laws, religion for non-secular states, and definition of antisocial behavior.


The anointing breaks the yoke (Isaiah 10:27) and the truth sets free (John 8:32). Love is the reason for Truth and Truth is the proof of Love. I pray this article will help you receive GOD's love and walk in the Truth of CHRIST.



** Vaṇakkam (வணக்கம்) = Good morning in Tamil (India)

** Mè yéga = Good morning/thank you in Bassa (Cameroon)






To go further (non-exhaustive list)

  • How to Forgive and Let Go of Your Past - Joyce Meyer

  • Defense Against Offenses: Get Out of Your Feelings - Bishop T.D. Jakes

  • L'appel sous la direction prophétique, Dr David Kateba

  • Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse: a sensitive Biblical guide for counselors, victims and families, by Lynn Heitritter and Jeanette Vought.

  • Deliverance and Inner Healing, by John Loren Standford and Mark Standford

  • How to Forgive--When You Don't Feel Like It, by June Hunt

  • Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward, by Dr Henry Cloud

  • Boundaries : When to Yes how to say No, by Dr Henry Cloud and John Townsend

  • Le Tribunal de CHRIST (Traduction de The Jugement Seat of CHRIST, Daniel Kolenda

  • Comprendre et maîtriser la colère, de Gary Chapman et Antoine Doriath

  • Bullying (hope for the heart), by June Hunt

  • Victimization: Victory over the Victim Mentality, by June Hun

  • Confronting Without Offending: Positive and Practical Steps to Resolving Conflict, by Deborah Smith Pegues

  • How to Handle Your Emotions: Anger, Depression, Fear, Grief, Rejection, Self-Worth (Counseling Through the Bible Series), by June Hunt

  • Les langages de la réconciliation, de Gary Chapman et Jennifer Thomas

  • The 5 Apology Languages: The Secret to Healthy Relationships, by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas

  • L'offense : l'arme cachée de Satan ( Traduction de The Bait of satan), John Bevere

  • Être assis, Marche, Tenir Ferme (traduction de Sit, Walk, Stand), Watchman Nee

  • Bénédiction ou malédiction à vous de choisir, Derek Prince









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