Forgiveness is not a weapon

I talk a lot about not using the Bible as a weapon–aka using scripture to hurt and harm others. Scripture is often mis-used to exclude and shame people. All too often, it is scripture taken out of context and sometimes the “scripture” wielded is not even actually in the Bible.

We don’t usually associate forgiveness with weaponry, but it is used all the time to guilt, shame and manipulate. Let me say more in the video below:

Forgiveness should never be used guilt and shame a person who has been harmed into doing all the work of reconciliation. And we should never let anyone rob us of the gift of forgiveness–of letting go of that hate and hurt–by making us feel that we have been “good Christians” because we won’t let them back into our lives.

Reconciliation is always preferable to estrangement–especially when it comes to people we love. God’s desire for us is to be in relationship with one another, and we should all work to repair any breach that damages those relationships. But reconciliation is not possible without accountability. And, sadly, sometimes it is not possible at all.

Forgive one another (it’s good for you).

Hold yourself and others accountable for actions that hurt and harm others.

Let no one make you feel less faithful because you refuse to let them gaslight back into a harmful and hurtful relationship.


Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer provides tools and encouragement for the rollercoaster ride of your faith journey. Follow me on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube. You can also follow on TikTok. Get emails to keep up with all that is happening.

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