Forgiveness: It is NOT “Cut-&-Dry”

In the thick of a writing session, working on a dialog, I took (what I thought was) a wrong direction … For me, this is part of the writing life.  Sometimes its decent; sometimes its crap.

Two guys have a fairly well-established friendship of six to seven years.  Time rolls on, and they stay in touch: coffee; breakfast; good phone chats.  This (fictional) exchange is about the uncomfortable process of forgiveness that I am trying to work through.

“So, how are you doing with that co-worker situation?”
 
“Yeah, I forgave the guy.”
 
“Okay.”
 
“Yeah, that’s old  stuff. (pause)  Are you picking up on something?  What you are thinking?”
 
“I was just thinking that you can do forgiveness one day, and your guard is still up.  Forgiveness might not be a one-time thing.  You may have to keep going.  If someone gives you “the cold steel blade in your back”, you can forgive: over and over and over and over.  Does that mean that you forget that this is an unsafe person?  If he hurt you once, he can hurt you again.”
 
“I know I have forgiven the guy, but I cannot shake the idea that he could betray me again.  That is part of his wiring.  So, yeah,  I’ve got my guard up.  Do you think that is wrong?”
 
“No.  You keep your guard up, and forgive the guy.   Forgiveness is not ‘cut-&-dry; it’s not simple.  I’m walking with you on this one because of my own pain.  Here is a question for both of us: ‘How do I  find freedom and some peace of mind knowing that I’ve been hurt, treated wrong; and at the same time, stay out of bondage to unforgiveness and bitterness?’     
 
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4 Replies to “Forgiveness: It is NOT “Cut-&-Dry””

  1. I’ve never been able to forgive and completely let go. I can forgive the person who does me harm at the consequence of becoming more and more guarded. I don’t become bitter but guarded is a lonely place sometimes too 😦

  2. Betrayal. Few conditions are more permanent and damaging. I can empathize with people who struggle with trying to reconcile and forgive a total disregard for trust. It’s significant.

  3. [Quote:’How do I find freedom and some peace of mind knowing that I’ve been hurt, treated wrong; and at the same time, stay out of bondage to unforgiveness and bitterness?’]
    The only way to truly forgive is to separate the deed… from the person. Hate the “evil”, but love the “people”. Hate the “deed”, but love the “person”. Understanding the person who is evil toward you is actually in bondage to anger, deceit, corruption, bitterness, etc… is freeing to the person who knows “why” others do what they do. It is not easy. But always understand the forces involved and ask your inner spirit to reveal and help you rise above into the freeing light of forgiveness for others acts. And, yes; it does not mean that we open ourselves vulnerably to them in the future.

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