You can’t undo anything you’ve already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness and then let God do the rest…. There have been a fair share amount of people around me that I’ve had to forgive over the years. Those that have let me down and those that have broken my trust. Yet I have forgave them because that is what Jesus did and that is what he asks of us.
I’ve been trying to get this down ever since I was having this conversation this past Tuesday with a few of my friends as we were tubing down the river taking back a few beers. We were catching up on family, work and mutual friends. Then we got all deep about it, which is weird now looking back at it but it was nice to have along with numerous conversations we had throughout the entire day/night together. Getting back onto the subject we started talking about something that could be titled with this question: When you forgive someone, do you really have to be friends with them again?
Being friends for numerous years, you’re bound to come across times of arguments and days where you fight. This requires you to forgive. Sometimes this can seem to be so hard of a feat to accomplish but it turns out rather easy and then you’ll have that time when it seems so easy but you just can’t do it. It’s crazy how the act of forgiveness can work or not work and how essential the communication is with the party involved. One of the guys was talking about a book his wife had him read after she finished it and said that there are four promises of forgiveness… Not dwelling on what they did, Not holding it against them, Not gossiping about it & Promising to be friends with them again. The latter being explained as the evidence of your forgiveness, but…. the forgiveness has to be towards a person who has asked for forgiveness. How can this be taken? Are you not tied down or being forced to reconcile for the lone fact that this person has not asked for forgiveness?
Not asking for forgiveness is sometimes the only thing that keeps us from it. Don’t wait, don’t carry a load you were never meant to bear because you may have already been forgiven and now you’re just living with that weight on your shoulder that doesn’t need to be there. Especially if it needs to come from someone you love. Just don’t hesitate to ask if you have something to be forgiven for before it eats yourself up inside.
But understanding always precedes forgiveness because if you don’t understand the actions that were taken then what do your words really mean. When you come to an understanding or the awareness of a person’s action then the act of forgiving is simple. Forgiving isn’t an easy, simple A to B process. It involves intellect and work. Reflect on the situation as a whole, try to see it from the other person’s perspective, understand why it is you feel hurt. It can bring a calmness to the conflict and we can stop feeding the resentment we have towards that person where then we can begin to truly forgive. A single effort may not be sufficient enough to complete due to the origin of the situation but it’s a step in that direction nonetheless.
But being friends again with someone is something that right now I feel is on a case-by-case scenario.