Further to thoughts on forgiveness. I mentioned in the recent post December 22, 2012, Seventy Times Seven: Matthew 18, three reasons, in a non-exhaustive fashion based on the Scripture why a Christian and person should strongly consider forgiving another that sins against him or her. I also noted realistically the often difficulties with this humanly speaking, and that this was a Biblical mandate and would require the guidance of the Holy Spirit and therefore God.
There is an another issue that comes to mind and that is if a person has been offended, and reasons he or she is basically within the context of a situation where forgiveness is required, is more morally and ethically correct, let us state for the sake of argument, 80% correct within the situation and 20% perhaps at fault, because often a person will have difficulties viewing their own fault.
Dividing this into hypothetical percentages in my mind in not an incorrect or foolish exercise because due to the sinfulness of humanity and fallen natures described in Romans 3, born in sin John 3, in bondage to sin, Romans 6, dead in sinfulness, Colossians 2, it can be understood humanity is corrupted by sinfulness.
It can be Biblically understood that humanity in Christ are justified, Romans 1, and born-again John 3, these being Biblical concepts of salvation for regenerated Christians, but that the work is not completed until the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15, and therefore sinfulness does remain in nature although the Holy Spirit is present (John 20, Acts 2).
John Calvin states, and I reason very wisely and correctly in the Bondage and Liberation of the Will that purity is spoiled by a tiny blemish and implies that sin is included in every good work (in this present realm). Calvin (1543)(1996: 27). This would be a Scriptural theology.
Therefore, it would be possible for the person in a situation, in this example, 20% at fault, to have sinned or still be sinning.
Should this person therefore ask the greater transgressor for forgiveness?
This may not always be the best thing to do as it could be problematic, for example if two people verbally argue and have both a level of fault in sin, and one person resorts to physical violence, that person would in my mind be very likely guilty of the greater sin. If the victim of the greater sin confesses his or her sins to the more violent offender, in other words the person with the lesser sin confesses, I can understand it may lead to the person guilty of the greater sin to thinking that somehow his or her greater sin is more so excusable, which it would not be.
For the victim, and the person with the lesser sin, instead, perhaps in certain situations because of the known taint of sin in humanity a serious reflection upon own personal sinfulness is required and a seeking of forgiveness from God and repentance of wrong doing where necessary, would be required by the person that was more so wronged. It should be remembered that one is really only responsible for self and one's own final judgment before God.
One cannot change others much with finite power, nor judge others in a final sense with finite knowledge.
There are also examples of criminal assault where I would not suggest that if a victim reasons he or she sinned against an attacker, that one should deal with that person again. There are times when the greater sin is just too great for such an action by the other party.
On the other hand there may be cases where confessing to someone in a situation that one views as the greater sinner, with a lessor sin, may actually lead to to the greater transgresor also confessing, and lead to in Christ, healing.
If outside of Christ, there may be opportunity for witness.
As far as personal growth with God and sanctification, there would be some benefits in reflecting upon possible wrong at least with God in situations where situations occur. This would be the case even when it would be best not to seek forgiveness from a greater offender.
This in my mind, would be a more Biblical and proper Christian theological and philosophical way of dealing with situations where someone is wronged and where sin has occurred than what is at times seen in secular Western society. As if the person that commits the greater sin, let us state again for the sake of argument one at 80% to blame is obviously a 'horrible person' for doing so, so as the victim, the other person, may reason he or she is obviously justified for his/her sinful actions at 20%.
But Biblically this would not be the case. Sin would be sin in God's eyes and all would need to be covered by the atonement. Sinful flesh will not inherit the Kingdom of God as I Corinthians 15 notes as the human nature must be transformed spiritually/physically.
CALVIN, JOHN (1543)(1996) The Bondage and Liberation of the Will, Translated by G.I. Davies, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.