REFLECTION (Day 4 of 7)
(Need to start at the beginning? Day 1)
I wanted to speak a bit about forgiveness and grace.
Generosity – to serve and share with others
Gentleness – to give tender care
Grace – to forgive and set down offense
When I was a kid I was abused by a few folks. Forgiveness is a must (I’ve forgiven them and let them go into the Father’s hands), but restoration and healthy relationship are a whole ‘nuther thing. It requires effort on everyone’s part to rebuild and be healthy (something that didn’t happen between me and my abusers).
There are all kinds of mishaps and wrong doings in life, and we are called to forgive.
Some of that is easy. Your husband got distracted and forgot to bring home a gallon of milk. You forgive and move on. Easy-peasy.
Some is a little tougher and requires forgiveness plus some discussion to restore relationship. Perhaps a secret was told or an unkind word was spoken in public. An apology, making amends, or talking through boundaries are needed.
But some relationships and situations are tougher still. We need wisdom in relating to people when they commit serious relationship hurting actions or are likely to continue to mistreat us. A chronically unfaithful spouse or one that frequently belittles their mate is not something that anyone should have to live with. Outside help is needed to deal with those unhealthy situations.
Please be aware that forgiveness is something we choose, and it has nothing to do with what others do initially or in response to our forgiveness. It is something that God asks us to do. It’s our job. It’s on us.
Restoration and ongoing relationship rests on how those involved choose to relate to each other. It may or may not happen depending on their choices.