When a wrong is done, it destroys trust…it divides…it creates conflict and distance in a relationship.
Forgiveness releases you from them and the consequences of bitterness. But forgiveness isn’t a good reason to go back into a bad situation.
If someone refuses to acknowledge the negative consequences of their own behavior, they will repeat that behavior. Especially if they are rewarded in it. Rewarding people for bad behavior is not helpful to you or them.
Some preachers like to preach about the sin of offence, basically, “don’t stop doing what you are supposed to do just because you are offended.” A valid point. However, one of things we are supposed to be doing is confronting people directly when their actions cause us and others harm. And regardless of the finery of the words proclaimed as justification for doing wrong, an offence done is remains a wound that needs to be healed for full restoration of a relationship.
Conflict is a part of life…when it is avoided, it lingers like an unwanted elephant. An elephant who will act up at the worst possible times. You can pretend that it doesn’t exist, or you can acknowledge it’s existence and deal with the problems that it is creating in your living room. When conflict is dealt with in an honest, respectful, way…it actually builds trust between people…and trust leads to peace…
Besides, the reward of harboring elephants in your living room is peanuts. Send them off to the circus where they belong.
Sure, this is the harder road…sure this building project takes work and sacrifice…but anything worth building does.
Real reconciliation happens when the wrong is confessed by them, forsaken by them, and forgiven by you.
A hard thing for everybody involved.
Strong homes are made when you make the effort to build with brick.
A tough slog in the summer heat.
On the other hand, a good-looking house can be thrown together in a few hours with some salvaged lumber from that old barn on the back quarter. You just gotta invest in some good white wash! But just because it looks nice, is it good?
A meaningless relationship takes no work at all, but does that make a meaningless relationship meaningful?
A house may sparkle with a new coat of white wash…but when the storm comes…and it always does…it becomes obvious what the foundation is made of…a relationship set on a foundation of stone will weather the storm…and afterwords…it will be a like a field bursting into bloom after being watered by the clouds of thunder…while the house that once sparkled in the sunlight will be left as a pile of rotten lumber by the power of the wind…