Thursday, March 10, 2016

Forgiving versus Reconciliation

Forgiveness vs Reconciliation

Basic thought here is that forgiving someone doesn't mean the relationship is fixed and you have to act like nothing ever happened - especially if they never apologized / repented / continued to treat you badly

As Yvonne said, there are some good thoughts here, and also a few cringe-worthy grammar/usage errors. Eesh *shudders*

My thoughts:

I have had entirely too much practice with these issues.
*rolls eyes*

I have noted before that carnal, manipulative people sometimes try to redefine forgiveness as the victim has to act like the bad stuff never happened or they 'aren't real Christians,' and this just isn't correct.

Forgiveness actually means you internally let go of any vengeance or resentment and give it to God, because He bought everyone's sin and vengeance on the Cross. If God feels vengeance is required, He will arrange it. "Vengeance is God's and He will repay."

You are letting go and letting God.

I do believe in giving people space to make another choice (trying to walk in mercy/grace), but when they don't, when they continue on being hurtful or get even worse after being told bad behavior/ugly attitudes aren't appreciated, then I believe we have to let go entirely of even the idea that we can have a real relationship with a (soon to be former) 'friend' who thinks they can despise / disrespect us - or what connection is left will become very unhealthy.

If those who hurt you never repent, never apologize, and never seek to reconcile, then the former relationship remains damaged or dead. That is reality.

 'Turning the other cheek' (once) doesn't equal volunteering to be someone's regular punching bag. Its not even a good witness to those sinning against you to think that being a serious Christian means being a doormat. It is not a correct interpretation of Biblical forgiveness, and doesn't give much of a warning of what they can expect from God if they don't repent. Injuring God's people invokes Abraham's Promise, which says that God will bless those who bless his people and curse those who curse them. This promise was given to Abraham's lineage - and to all Christians by the Christian adoption though Christ's atonement. When someone wrongs a believer walking in faith then they curse themselves, and the works of their hands (especially those works associated with the abuse), etc.

Only God can change the natural result (no good relationship) into a friendship again, but that is a miracle that both sides have to seek / ask God for, or it won't happen.

You can and should pray for those who deliberately, spitefully, and pridefully hurt you, but give God your hurt love/friendship too. Don't expect anything better from those who have chosen to be your enemy. They may repent someday, but you can't count on that. Don't stay open to being hurt by them again and again. Don't think you have to pretend it didn't happen. Forgive them as best you can but move on away from them. Praying for their salvation and other good things will keep your heart right before God about them. (Just make sure you aren't really ranting/rehearsing you resentments endlessly to God. That's not letting really forgiving and letting go. No, this isn't easy at first, so it is best to ask God to purify your prayers and heart concerning them until purified attitude finally sticks. It takes time and prayerful persistence to get this right, making sure you are on the same page with the Holy Spirit.)

If you want to see that painful taking a dying 'friendship' to God over and over process in action you only have to read a lot of my old blogs. I was very seriously betrayed by several people I had cared about very much.

To my knowledge they have never repented of what they did - or the excessively prideful attitudes that inspired their ugliness. Personally I cannot 'accept the apology I didn't get' - because there wasn't one, but I did release them to their fate. I pray for them to repent and get right with God but that will not release them from the curse(s) they earned. They actually will have to repent to get free of that consequence. Additionally our relationship remains dead without a real apology and attempt at reconciliation from their side.

This is the video the article references

Another video from the same counselor deals with anger issues people have when they believe are treated unjustly.  This has certainly been true for us!