What Are Your Terms? Thoughts on People Who Do Us Wrong

What are your terms? In days of old when one king would defeat another king he would offer him terms. It was pretty simple, accept the terms or be killed. Very rarely was there a negotiation, it was adherence or death.

It hit me the other day, there’s a danger that we all have terms. We have terms for everything in our life. To some extent that is probably healthy and reasonable. We should all have terms about an abusive person, and the people in our life that brings destructive forces to it.
But I wonder. I wonder about the terms we have that aren’t spoken. What about the terms we have for people who have hurt us? What does the Bible mean when it says we are to forgive those who hurt us? (Eph 4:32; Matthew 6:14-15; Colossians 3:13 to only name a few)

When someone offends us or hurts us, do we write them off? Do you or I make them beg for forgiveness? Do we make them accept our terms?  I think most of us are at least tempted to do that. Have you ever been on the other side of that? Have you ever been the one who did the wronging and despite whatever you did to seek forgiveness from that person, they had terms for you? Now, the roles switch and life gets messy once again.

Jesus doesn’t offer a lot of comfort either. I mean come on, if you don’t forgive, you won’t be forgiven? What kind of terms are those, God? Don’t You know about how my Dad hurt me? Don’t you know about how my wife/husband/son/brother/daughter/sister…fill in the blank hurt me?

This is what makes God so revolutionary, so radical. God takes our innate desire for justice and turns it upside down. He calls us to forgive those who wrong us. Forgive those who intentionally mistreat us. It’s a crazy command. God asks us to lay down everything, including our desire for revenge and justice. He asks to trusts Him with our hurts. But, let’s be honest, He also asks us to do one step further.

I don’t know what your terms are. I do know terms that I’ve used in the past. I know times I’ve been tempted to use terms and I can imagine the terms I’ll be tempted to use in the future.  I also know God’s terms:

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
~Jesus in Matthew 6:15

Talk about some terms!


About Joe

I am a simple guy. I live in West Michigan and have a counseling business. I also do public speaking. I'd love to hear your story.

2 thoughts on “What Are Your Terms? Thoughts on People Who Do Us Wrong

  1. Joe….I was thinking about this today. As I drove by the church where I was on staff for almost 10 years…it was like if God himself spoke to me and said…”you know…you will have to forgive him before I can bless you…before you can heal”.

    Nice post!

    Thanks Joe!


  2. One of the ways that I know I have made progress in forgiving someone, is when I can begin praying for God to bless them. I understand that we are told to forgive, but it sometimes seems impossible, and in our own strength, perhaps it is. When I find myself struggling to forgive I have found that if I just get honest with God and tell Him about the struggle I am having that He will give me the ability to forgive!

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