Question:

When you forgive a Christian brother or sister who hurt you are we required to continue to talk and be friends with them like old times, like nothing ever happened? Or can we forgive and move on?


Answer:

"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matthew 6:12).

"And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).

"Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" (Colossians 3:13).

So you are saying that God can forgive men of their sins and then walk away to never speak to them again.

Forgiveness is the release of debt. You can't not claim to have released a debt while continuing to hold the event against the person. "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him" (Luke 17:3-4). Forgiveness is not an option.

What I'm asking is: does the relationship have to be the same as it once was? I think God allows us to pick who are really close friends are. Jesus had the 12. Yes. You can still speak to the person you forgave, but do you have to be as close as you use to be?

When Peter denied Christ, did that mean he and Jesus no longer had as close of a relationship as they had before?

I'm not saying it is easy or that we as humans won't have to struggle against our inclinations. But it is what we must strive for.

Nope, they had an even better relationship. But was it a choice?

So what about a Christian marriage and let's say the wife cheats on her husband. If possible God wants them to reconcile, but even if the man forgives her, he still has a choice to stay with her or divorce, right? Which means if he chooses divorce he is not wrong and, of course, they will no longer have the same relationship.

Our relationship with God is never forced. It is voluntary on both sides.

I don't have the same view of divorce as you do. One can divorce a spouse and be able to remarry when there is an on going problem of fornication. If a spouse commits fornication, repents of it, and asks for forgiveness, this isn't a "get out of jail for free" card. A Christian is required to forgive and that means the marriage should continue. It is when a spouse continues to commit fornication and there doesn't seem to be any prospect of turning the spouse around that God allows a divorce that gives permission for remarriage. Of course, in that case, forgiveness would be given if possible, but since the person isn't leaving his sin, it can't be given.

If the sinning spouse turns from his sin after the divorce and his spouse has already married, then it isn't possible for them to remarry. Forgiveness can be given, but the consequences of that sin will remain.