Mat 6:14-15 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, (15) but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Eph 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Narcissists, sociopaths, abusers and their kind never forgive. They blame and shame and accuse, but they never forgive. They may claim to forgive, they may mouth words of forgiveness, but in fact they never forgive.
These wicked ones will do all kinds of things if they perceive you have wronged them (and you are always the one to blame). Resolving a conflict, working to genuinely reconcile when there has been some sin or perceived sin, is just not in their bag of tricks.
The primary goal of a narcissist (call them an abuser if you will)…is vengeance. Getting even. Revenge. And of course forgiveness is just not in the recipe for any of those motives.
The worst wrong you can ever to do such an evil person is (just ask him) to expose them. To call them out. To be light shining on their darkness. The rage will ensue and vengeance will be sought.
Now, from the Scriptures quoted above, and from many other scriptures, a person who refuses to forgive is not forgiven by the Lord. Jesus said so. That is to say, they are not born again. Play the “christian” game all they want, it is a biblical fact that cannot be refuted – anyone who is characterized by a refusal to forgive is not one of Christ’s people. “Just as God in Christ forgave you.” But these wicked ones are not forgiven by God. They do not know His forgiveness – neither will they ever give it.
This sin of unforgiveness is not committed by the seeking of justice. We are not refusing to forgive if we end a relationship with a narcissist. But the person who is driven in the depth of their being to punish and exact revenge upon anyone who they perceive has wronged them – that person is dead in trespasses and sins. Forgiven people forgive, you see.
Over the years as a pastor – nearly 4 decades now – I have crossed paths with many, many of these children of the devil. They lashed out, accused, reviled, tried to destroy…and guess how many of them ever subsequently got back to me these 4 decades later? None. Not a single one. THAT is unforgiveness.
A true Christian cannot NOT forgive. The thing is impossible.
[NOTE: The emphasis in this post is upon the wicked person’s refusal to forgive. Nothing here is meant to imply that victims of evil are required by God to “forgive and forget” in the sense of never seeking justice or praying for the Lord to exact His perfect vengeance upon the wicked. What we all are required by the Lord to do is to not seek vengeance ourselves. We are not to be overcome by evil but to overcome it and heap burning coals on the wicked person’s head by not responding in kind. Thank you to a reader for asking for clarification on this point].
My husband is dying. I keep waiting for him to reach the point where he seeks out those he has wronged and “settles his accounts” before he dies. But he sits here day after day recounting how everyone has wronged HIM and of course, I am the biggest one who “wronged” him. Doesn’t sound like much forgiveness there, does it? He needs to forgive the perceived (not real) wrongs before he passes. I hope he gets to that place
Deb – The hardness of the sinful man’s heart is amazing. I have seen numbers of people who knew they were dying, and of course many other people who have been in some way touched by death, in the middle of great grief, but I have yet to see any such people who as far as I could tell were genuinely reaching out to the Lord in repentance and faith. I remember one man dying of cancer and his friends asked me to visit him. I went and took a small Bible with me and the moment I went into his room he angrily shouted “Don’t read that to me!” It really is true for any of us – if Christ did not grab hold of us, grant us faith and repentance in sheer grace and mercy, we never would have been saved.
There was so much packed in your post!
They don’t forgive – even if they said the words it would leave you silently gasping at the venom that drips from within each letter of deception in those spoken words.
I’ve also noticed the most evil ones also don’t cry, sure they may drop water from an eye every now or then – but it is so eerie to witness – and definitely not real tears of grief, pain or joy. I literally sat in horror when I saw them in action at a funeral – I realized the correlation of the missing true tears of wicked and evil – they’re incapable of such things.
Where I’m going is as much as they don’t forgive, they also have hearts of stone.
To your point, we don’t respond in kind – and from what I have seen from them it is often best to not respond at all, or only enough to move on from that interaction. I picture Jesus in the streets – how much time of day would he really give them??!
As for our forgiveness, yes, it is a given, and with that does not mean we have to stay in another’s proximity. It is a unique blessing to us when we can forgive and also be relieved the unforgiving don’t return!
Very, very true. These kind may shed crocodile tears, but in fact they never truly cry out of heart-felt sorrow for others. Or for their sin. I have seen the fake tears which can be an expression of anger, but even more diabolical are the “tears” that are an act put on simply because they know that somehow they have to feign grief in, for instance, a tragedy of some type. What kind of a stone heart is necessary to do such a thing!
I see that according to Math 18, we need to forgive after receiving repentance from one who has persecuted us. So, forgiveness follows repentance. I was persecuted for a year and a half from a lady in my Ladies Aid class and she wouldn’t tell me why. I finally took it to my pastor. He spoke to her and excommunicated her from the church. She was allowed back in 5 weeks. She never spoke to me about it, never repented, so I have not forgiven her. I presume she does not want my forgiveness.