Forgiveness has always been a difficult concept for me. With varying theories on definitions and applications; one can easily find their mind in knots.
Questions like: “Does forgiveness mean forgetting an offense?” “If I forgive a person does that mean I still have to talk to them?” “What if after forgiving someone I still want nothing to do with them?” “”What happens when I the person doesn’t even realize they hurt me or doesn’t think they’re wrong?” “How can I balance forgiveness with feelings of hurt, anger or disappointment?” “Can trust be rebuilt?”
I don’t have the answers.
But I will share what I have learned…
There are those who will take advantage of a forgiving heart. There are those who will never appreciate your forgiveness. There are those who will wave your hurt in front of the world demanding an apology of their own.
In these scenarios I’ve come to realize that revenge is never the answer. Choosing retaliation doesn’t make two wrongs a right. Honesty is always the best policy. Some discrepancies are better left quiet; others deserve recognition when asked. You must use your discretion but NEVER lie. If you don’t want to talk about it then tell that noisy co-worker of yours to bug off. Just remember, bottling emotions will only make the situation worse. If you are hurt but aren’t willing to admit so then you’re not being fair to the other person. Relationships are messy. They require communication. And sometimes that communication requires being brutally honest about how someone made you feel. You must be willing to explore your own heart before expecting anyone else to do the same.
Everyone you love will hurt you. What you do with that hurt is up to you. How forgiveness is lived out is unique to each situation. You’ve got to decide boundaries for yourself on what is a hill to die on and what isn’t a hill to die on. Some things can be acknowledged then moved past without a second thought. Others take time to work through. And sometimes things can’t be overlooked.
If you find yourself at such an impasse – Good Luck- you’re gonna need it. There’s a difference between stubbornness and ignorance. Someone that isn’t willing to admit fault may not be aware of the impact their actions or it could just be a misunderstanding or they could just be an asshole that doesn’t care. That’s where honesty and discretion comes into play.
What is your definition of forgiveness? How do you deal with offenses in your relationships? What do you do when someone doesn’t admit fault?