Archive for January, 2024

An old-time comedian, Flip Wilson, used to quip, “The devil made me do it.”  If this is true, then if I behave badly and “the devil made me do it,” there is no need for others to forgive me because I was not the one who made the injustice happen, right?

Well, I disagree.  We have to remember that Flip Wilson was a comedian.  He was being funny in this quip.  Because of your free will, being tempted to unjust behavior by others does not make the tempter the one who is exclusively culpable in the unjust act.  As you give into temptation, your free will created an intention to act, and then a free will decision to act upon the intention.  You, then, are guilty of wrongdoing and can and should seek forgiveness.

I have a follow-up question to my inquiry about forgiving God.  If it is impossible for God to act unjustly, then God is not all perfect, right?  If He cannot perform a given action, even if it is unjust, then God cannot do all things.

You need to realize that God, as you understand Him as you practice your Presbyterian faith, has a certain nature.  That nature includes complete holiness and perfection.  The fact that God does not go against this nature does not make Him imperfect.  It makes Him consistent with His nature, with who God actually is.

I am a Presbyterian Christian.  If I am offended with the way my life is going, is it all right to forgive God?

No, actually, it is not all right to forgive God.  Your belief system says that God is holy and perfect in every way.  Therefore, God cannot behave unjustly.  Thus, God cannot be unfair to you and so there is nothing to forgive.  If you went down that path of forgiving God, you would have faulty theology, with the assumption that God can act unjustly, which is not possible.

My boyfriend does not want me to forgive him.  He says I am misinterpreting his motives.  If I want to forgive him, is it ok to just come right out with it and proclaim, “I forgive you!”

You can forgive from the heart without proclaiming it directly to him if this will offend him.  He likely will see your forgiveness with your renewed smiles and positive responses to him.  You can proclaim your forgiveness within yourself without proclaiming it to him.