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I preached on the unmerciful servant from Matthew 18 last Sunday.  (I'll post it up when the audio comes available).  Let me give one reflection on how the whole subject was received...

There were two groups of response.  Group A were those who struggled to forgive (I was expecting that).  But I was surprised there was also group B - those who longed to be released by unforgiving friends and relatives.  Now take a wild stab in the dark - what gender do you think were all the members of Group A?  And what gender do you think were all the members of Group B?

Why do women and men seem to struggle with forgiveness in different ways?  These are wild generalisations but, what are blogs for eh?...

Thought 1 - women are often more open relationally and therefore the wounds go deeper

Thought 2 - reconciliation will be more costly for women where there's a higher expectation of openness in the future.

Thought 3 - mostly when we "forgive" we don't write off people's debt we write off the people.  This false forgiveness goes a lot more unnoticed among men than women.

I have other things to say on forgiveness, but do you have other thoughts on this seeming gender disparity?

0 thoughts on “Forgiveness

  1. Chris E

    If I may suggest something that might be somewhat controversial; I think pastors - for a number of reasons - tend to shy away from confronting the noetic effects of sin in women.

    So on the topic of forgiveness, the main role that women would be notionally placed into any given sermon on forgiveness will be that of victim.

  2. Glen

    Very interesting. Would love to hear the reasons for pastors' collaboration if you felt able to venture them!

    And on the topic of women being more cognisant of their role as perpetrators - do you mean "perpetrators" of sins in general or "perpetrators" of holding others in unforgiveness?

  3. Chris E

    I think they just feel uncomfortable with bringing up the topic - I'm not sure that I'd want to venture a reason beyond that.

    As to my second paragraph - I meant that where sermons are directed at women's sins, they still tend to be affirming, rather than challenging. So the message will be "You are a victim, you need to let go" rather than "You are a sinner, you need to forgive" - gross generalisations all.

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