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Monday, April 13, 2015

How Do You Forgive the Unforgivable Betrayal?


CUTTING issues in life make their way into all our worlds. We’ve all been betrayed. And we’ve all faced situations when we are expected to forgive when we feel we can’t. We’ve all been exasperated by both their selfishness and our own inability to move on. We are not the only ones that feel the way we do around forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not as easy as it’s supposed to be… and who ever said it was supposed to be easy?
Forgiveness is hard, because it involves us where it hurts, where we care, where we have given our best and it wasn’t good enough. Forgiveness is taxing — as is grief — because we keep coming back to the same-old, same-old time and time again. Forgiveness makes us question God’s justice as we see the guilty go free.
Those who laugh are those who should verily mourn.
Forgiveness is complicated because justice hardly ever works how we think it should.
We do not understand how God can let the guilty party go. How do they get away scot-free from the temerity of their sin? There are a great many problems in the whole area of forgiveness in the context of justice.
So, how do we forgive the unforgivable betrayal: where there is no repentance?
***
A lack of repentance is the unforgivable betrayal, because the person who is party to our hurt, who has no interest in our moving forward, does not do the loving thing.
But we still need to wrestle with our own sense of bitterness.
The person who hurt us cannot be responsible for how we feel about them. It’s ours and ours alone.
The unforgivable betrayal is hence not unforgivable as far as we are concerned. It’s unforgivable as far as God’s concerned. Judgment will come to rest on the head of those who refuse to repent. But these are separate and disconnected issues.
When someone hurts us and refuses to repent, they have not sinned against us, but God. And the Lord will have the final word — a terrible day.
***
We’ve all faced situations when we are expected to forgive when we feel we can’t.
The fact is we need to wrestle with what we feel is impossible. If we don’t we fail the test of faith. All God requires of us is faith.
If we continue to wrestle with our need to forgive someone, God will gift us that miracle at the proper time.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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