“Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgement, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.” Wm Paul Young, The Shack
“I’m sorry” isn’t required but it would be nice, wouldn’t it? Somehow someone acknowledging they caused great pain is great medicine for our woundedness but a lot of times that doesn’t happen. Someone once said “when someone lies to you or about you, they feel you’re not worthy of the truth”. That hits home…someone who lies about you and to you doesn’t feel you’re worthy of the truth. Why would we want them in our lives, to allow them to make us feel more unworthy of truth and love than we already do?
I’ve never been one to just go along. I believe forgiveness IS possible without ever having to see or speak to someone again and when it’s gone on for as long as one can remember, I think it’s best, especially when there is no change in behavior “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:17. Owning up to what we’ve done, taking responsibility, is the best thing. Some are incapable of that. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like admitting my atrocities… it’s unpleasant and humbling but I always feel better and KNOW it’s right when I do.
Hope is a wonderful thing. HOPING someone will change and see what they have done then change accordingly is always in order. Praying for them is always, always right. Ask God for them to open their hearts and eyes to see the realness of what has been done and ask Him to give them the desire to change and the courage to act upon that desire.
Until then, it’s okay if you don’t get back in with them. We need to just be sure we’re “clean” – we must deal with our anger, hurt and disappointment in a godly way and the only way to do that is to take it to Him until it’s gone which sometimes takes a very long time. I’ve found I don’t feel anything but pity for those who hurt me because they’re blinded by their version of self-justification and the lies they’ve come to believe. We don’t have to be that way. “It is what it is”, is one of my favorite sayings and that means to me, ONLY God can change it, I have to accept it and what I DO WITH IT is paramount.
We can allow that hurt to fester in many ways and change us, or we can truly desire to heal from it, forgive and get on with our lives.
We can choose forgiveness. We can choose to let it go and go on and be better because of it and thankful we survived it. Some didn’t.
I choose forgiveness; I pray you do too.
“Then Peter came and said to Him, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22