Forgiving Someone You Don't Trust

March 7, 2024

Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

We are all called to forgive others, just as Christ forgave us. But, sometimes we may hesitate to forgive someone who has really hurt us, because we aren’t ready to trust that person again.

Did you know that it’s okay to forgive someone and still not trust them? Forgiveness does not mean there needs to be an instant restoration of trust.

Forgiveness is 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.

Forgiveness is returning to God the right to take care of justice. Forgiveness is letting go of anger, bitterness, and the desire to get even. It is honestly wishing God’s blessings upon those who have wronged you. 

But, restoration of a relationship and restoration of trust takes far more than forgiveness. It takes repentance. It takes restitution and a rebuilding of trust. And, it often takes time.

Forgiveness is only your part. You can start the process of forgiving someone who has wronged you right now. It doesn’t depend on whether the other person asks for your forgiveness, responds to your forgiveness, or recognizes they need your forgiveness. You forgive for your sake. You don't let bitterness in your heart poison your life.

Are you stuck in unforgiveness?

Begin the process of forgiveness today. Then take all the time you need to rebuild trust. These steps are necessary for healthy relationships and a healthy soul.

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