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Friday, April 24, 2009

Does Trust Come with Forgiveness?

Someone hurts you. He has crushed your spirit. He has stolen your joy. He has caused tears and a pain that seems to go completely through your body. You feel as if you have been hit by a car and left to bleed to death by the side of road.

The one who hurt you comes to his senses. He asks for forgiveness. You grant forgiveness. Does that mean things go back to like they were before he hurt you? The answer is "no" but many people do not know why.

Forgiveness is given; not earned. It is necessary to forgive everyone of all that they have ever done to you. The one who doesn't forgive has consequences for their unforgiveness. Bitterness may spring up and ruin many of their other relationships. They will never have a right relationship with God if they do not forgive. It simply hurts people to live with grudges against others. You forgive for yourself. You don't need this hurt to continue to hurt you.

Forgiveness is not holding a someone's wrong against your future hopes for them. In other words, you hope the best for the person you have forgiven. You have not forgiven if you are hoping for their demise.

Trust is earned; not given. This is why the relationship does not go back to what it was like before. The offending party must earn the trust he had before he hurt you. Trust is the removal of cautions which will keep that person from hurting you again. Trust is earned by faithfulness and time. The continued faithfulness will earn your trust over a period of time.

Many people think that forgiveness guarantees trust. They believe that your lack of trust is proof that you have not forgiven them. That is not true. It is unreasonable to think that a person who has been hurt will put themselves back in a position to be hurt again without precautions. These precautions are the difference between how the relationship was before and after the hurt.

I believe that every abused wife should forgive her husband (or ex-husband). I do not believe she should live in the home as if he never abused her. He must earn trust if she is to live this way.

I believe that every employee should be forgiven if he has stolen from the company. I do not believe he should be given the cash drawer after he has violated the company's trust. In fact, I do not believe that a company can function without trusting its employees and he has forfeited his privilege of working for that company. This does not mean that the boss hasn't forgiven him.

Often the offending party says that he hasn't been forgiven because things are not like they were. He tries to make the one he has hurt feel guilty. Many times this works because the offended party doesn't know that he is asking for trust but calling it forgiveness. The answer must be that in time with continued faithfulness trust will be given.

Don't let people continue to hurt you. Do not fall into their whining about how you have not forgiven them. Protect yourself but give forgiveness freely. Pray for those who have hurt you. Ask God to bless them by changing their hearts to ones of love.

4 comments:

Royce said...

Easily said, difficult to do. Especially praying for someone who has done you harm. I have found that the more I do forgive, the easier it becomes...

Marylyn said...

This definitely made a point I was trying to make plain recently, even more plain. So much that I forwarded the link :) Thank you for letting the Holy Spirit use you and your teaching gift! :D U make it crispy clear and plain. Thank you.

Lady Esther said...

I have been so guilted by not trusting this person who I forgave and forgive! I am in a constant state of repentance to God bc I often feel so guilty for how I feel and lack of trust towards this person. I feel if he really cares for me he will take steps to earn
My trust and win my heart again. I have been devasted. God is really the one man I trust! I need Him because He is my God and I need a base of unconditional love. People do not seem to get that trust is a very special thing and once it's broken time after time it's hard! When I forgave and started to open my heart... He broke it again!!! Time after time...I must forgive and I do but I pray God protect my heart from this man! Ugh. I will forgive because I must but I don't not trust!!!

Lady Esther said...

Been hurt too many time by a person and don't trust him! I forgive because I must but He must earn my trust and win my heart back...if he even want it anymore. I feel very abused!