The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dietrich Bonhoeffer / Luke 17:3

German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.”

As an abuse survivor, I felt oppressed by pressure from other's to forgive my unacknowledged abuse. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why can't I forgive? Bonhoeffer’s words as well as Luke 17:3 offered me great relief:

Be on your guard! If another disciple sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive.

In this verse, Christ is calling for preliminary conditions before forgiveness that lend themselves to acknowledgment and guarding against “cheap grace.”

From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Rebuke: 1 a: to criticize sharply : reprimand b: to serve as a rebuke to 2: to turn back or keep down : check


the action or process of repenting especially for misdeeds or moral shortcomings


intransitive verb1: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life2 a: to feel regret or contrition b: to change one's mind

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