Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This week's lesson: how to be saved

If you forgive someone . . .

Does this mean you trust them?

I struggle with this question -- not least because I've told several people in our church that:
  • God loves you, God forgives you, God accepts you just the way you are . . . 
  • But you are not working with children. Ever. End of discussion. Period.
In return, I'm usually told that:
  • God loves them, God forgives them, God accepts them just the way they are . . . 
  • And if God is willing to let bygones be bygones, then why can't I do the same (and let them work with children)?
And they'd have a point . . . if forgiveness was nothing more than the pretense nothing happened.
But sometimes, somebody does something you can't ignore -- and when that happens, you have a choice:
  • You can say, "That's it! It's over! You're out of here!"
  • Or you can say, "We need to deal with this -- but I'm willing to work with you, if you're willing to work with me."
Fortunately, God is always willing to work with us, always willing to mend what's been broken, always willing to rebuild the trust that's been lost.
But that process begins with a decision: not a decision to forget the past, but to deal with it -- and yes, we can call that decision, "forgiveness."
In short, I forgive people because I don't trust them -- not yet.
But in time, I hope I will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It sounds like there are human unpardonable sins and pardonable ones. To forgive is not to forget. All the sins God has forgiven me are not forgotten, they are just as far away from me as God can put them (bottom of the sea, etc.) If in the future I choose not to follow God then all those sins come back to haunt me at the Judgement. Regaining trust is critical, but are you saying there are some things or sins if committed, you will NEVER trust that person again? If that is true, then how can God forgive you and me? And without that, where are we? Lost!