When they don't ask for your forgiveness
Friendship is hard for me. I’ve never been that good at it. I’m an introvert, I tend to think differently than most people - read: I’m kind of weird - and sometimes I just can’t figure people out. But at some point, I finally had a girlfriend that I felt like I was doing life with.
Our kids were all friends, we ran together, played endless hours of Catan, we walked in and out of each other’s houses without knocking, and I don’t know if she knew exactly how much she meant to me, but I tried in my weird non social way to let her know.
And then came the betrayal. And to this day, I miss that girl. The betrayal was great, but the thing that has continued hurting is, she’s never said she was sorry.
When you look at it logically, would it really make a difference? We moved far away, it wouldn’t be healthy for my family, or me really, to have a friendship again, so what does it really matter?
In some ways, it really doesn’t. On my part. I believe that the Bible teaches me that in order to stand before God in prayer and the Lord’s supper that I must not have any unforgiveness against a brother or sister in Christ. There’s this tricky line right in what we commonly refer to as the Lord’s prayer. “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
It doesn’t say anything about waiting for them to ask. In fact, I didn’t find any verses that said we had to wait for them to ask. That being said, these verses are just talking to the offended. When we look at the Biblical model of forgiveness, we see our salvation as an example.
We often teach that our salvation, or forgiveness, is like a present waiting under a tree. Its all wrapped up, complete, ready, but you need to reach out and take it. Christ is offering it freely to all, but not all have received it.
So what does this all teach us, what do we do when we are hurt and betrayed? I think that we get our forgiveness ready. We wrap it all up, put a bow on top, and place it under the tree.
The next time we pray or the next time we partake in communion, we examine our hearts. We look long and deep and hard and see if there is any root of unforgiveness or bitterness in our hearts. If there is, or it has come back, we start praying like crazy. Because as we’ve talked about before, we can’t do this on our own. You can’t just take out every root in your own strength. But with God’s help, we can stand before Him honestly and say, my forgiveness is ready. Its waiting. I hope they take it.
And then we wait. Sometimes there will be reconciliation, sometimes there will not. Sometimes there will be an apology, and sometimes not. Either way, there should be a big present, wrapped with a bow, waiting. And we should be eager to give it away.