Forgiving someone is easy but rebuilding trust and walking out of pain is an entirely different thing.
When a person repents, part of the “fruit of their repentance” should be a proactive plan to rebuild trust. I am obligated by the Cross to totally forgive EVERY offence. But I am under no obligation from heaven to ever trust you again. Trust is not a right, it’s a privilege!
Kris Vallotton, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church, Redding, California, a profound, prophetic teacher, wrote this on Facebook a few days ago, and it’s stayed with me. Another of the things I’d preach, that is great to see someone of his ‘stature’ ‘agreeing’ with me!
It’s great to see someone as ‘prominent’ as Kris write what he has about trust…. I’ve learned that forgiveness isn’t as difficult as once I thought it was: I used to find it so hard, but once the truth of the reality of the forgiveness that Jesus has given to me became genuinely real – and that he constantly gives me – knowing that I have to forgive in order to be forgiven makes it ‘easier’…. That doesn’t mean it’s easy: sometimes the depth of pain that the ‘offence’ has caused you is deep, but the reality is that not forgiving is NOT an option for anyone who wants to continue to grow in their faith and relationship with the Lord…. ‘Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’….someone famous once said!
And unforgiveness is, in my experience, frequently at the root of many sicknesses, diseases, and personal issues. If it’s not possible to receive salvation without asking for forgiveness, it most certainly isn’t possible to know full release in healing if we are screwed up by unforgiveness. Didn’t someone once say something like, ‘Harbouring unforgiveness is like letting an unwanted tenant live in our head rent free’…..
Trust is a whole different ball game… real trust isn’t something we ‘invest’ in many people: it’s impossible to have too many ‘close, close friends’, even more impossible to have more than a small handful of people we trust totally. We’re all human: and while we wouldn’t choose to break trust, or betray, someone close, it can so easily happen. ‘Accidental’ betrayal is devastating: but maybe some of you have been the victim of ‘calculated’ betrayal. That is unbelievably painful, and you’ll only know just HOW painful if it’s happened to you. The depth of pain when a close friend betrays you, or believes lies that are ‘out on the grapevine’ about you (and the enemy – and people, sadly – want to ensure that you’ll be undermined. People will do it driven by jealousy, or worse still, envy: the enemy AND people will engineer that your reputation is destroyed.
I could write here a number of situations where it’s happened to me, but that’d be negative, and only stir up the ‘long at rest’ issues that I’ve forgiven, but could never trust again. Suffice to say, in one situation, if I’d wanted to, I could have sued a number of people for libel AND slander, but, having forgiven them, I couldn’t go down that road…. but nothing in the world, humanly, would ever cause me to trust them again. Guys that I knew well – trusted, yes – that I took on trips with me, tried to ‘steal’ the places I’d taken them to away from me, by telling the people locally that I’d run my time in that place, and that what they needed was ‘my friends” involvement. What they’d under-estimated was the depth of friendship and trust I had with the people in those countries, who told me what they were doing….
It hurts. Boy, does it hurt. Often, I’ve had the enemy tell me that I should rebuild trust, but it’s virtually impossible. To read what Kris Vallotton wrote, that I’m under no obligation to trust again, confirms what I felt, and sometime fought. Trust is indeed a PRIVILEGE, not a RIGHT.
Whatever you do, FORGIVE. You’re locked in a prison if you don’t forgive: even if, initially it’s through gritted teeth. Your unforgiveness doesn’t destroy the person you’re not forgiving: it destroys YOU. I know from personal experience…