Grace and Forgiveness can both be the gift that keeps on giving. So, how do we give this gift away?
Understanding Is Half The Battle
First, let me explain what forgiveness is not. It does not mean the instant restoration of trust. Also, forgiveness is not instant. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Forgiveness is based on grace. Trust is built on works. You earn trust. You don’t earn forgiveness.
A lot of people don’t want to forgive, because they think if they forgive people, then they’ve got to trust them again. No. That’s a whole different issue! Let me say it again: Forgiving a person does not mean you have to trust them. It means they have to earn the trust.
If people are in a relationship and their partners are dealing with drugs or alcohol or abuse or whatever, they may ask, “Will you forgive me?” Yes, you will forgive them. “Can we go back to the way it was?” No. That’s not at all what we do.
Forgiveness and a restoration of a relationship are two different things
Forgiveness is only on your part, whether they respond or not, whether they ask for it or not, whether they even recognize they need it or not. You forgive for your sake. Restoration of a relationship takes far more than forgiveness. It takes repentance. It takes restitution and a rebuilding of trust. And it often takes a much longer time.
Many people think they can’t forgive because that would mean going back to the same old way. Not at all. But you do have to leave it to God.
You can release your hurt by talking it over.
– Who do you need to give grace to?
– Who do you need to forgive?
Then ask yourself…
– Who do you need to restore a relationship with?
– What are some ways can someone rebuild trust with you?