Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Monday, November 07, 2005

OK, I have a problem for all my reader to consider.

I believe in forgiveness. I practise it with regularity. I am the recipient of more than I deserve.

Someone betrayed me, and seriously injured a kinsman, in ways not immediately evident, but nonetheless real and lasting. The betrayer has repented, and I have forgiven this person. I do not wish to see him roasting over a lake of burning sulphur. I do not wish to kill him, and I do not wish to do...things...to him with electrical wiring.

I do not speak of "betrayal" and "injury" lightly.

On the OTHER hand, I have zero interest in having anything to do with him. At all. Ever again.

My thinking is, if a dog bites me, but the next time I see him, he wags his tail, I am disinclined to pet him.

The person wants to get together, y'know, remember the good times.
I don't want to remember anything at all, because it just leads to pain.
I don't like pain.
I've had enough from this person.

So, is it self-protection, or self-contradiction; hypocrisy, if you will.
I have few moral ambiguities in my life.
They make me uncomfortable.
Feel free to comment. I know you're out there.
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Renee said...

Forgiveness means a willingness to deal with a person after they have wronged you. If he makes you uncomfortable, you have not forgiven him. Forgiveness requires both the intellectual- which you have done- and the emotional, which you have not. But we don't always have control over our emotions. I practice intellectual forgiveness, but I must say there have been times when it's hard to let go emotionally.

The Aardvark said...

Hi, Marielle,
Thanks for your input. I'll put it in the hopper!
Out of curiosity, on what do you base your assessment of forgiveness? I'm not snarking...I'm honestly curious.
-the Aardvark

Kiwi the Geek said...

If this person isn't your blood, I'd say never mind. There's nothing wrong with protecting yourself from further harm. With immediate family, you have to balance that with reconciling the family relationship. I'm not so sure about that, but wise ones have told me so.

However, Marielle is right in saying that you may not have forgiven him. I'm not sure I can adequately explain how to determine that, but forgiveness means giving up your right to be angry. If you choose to forgive, daily/hourly if nec, by saying it out loud through clenched teeth if nec, your emotions will eventually follow. So they say, and it seems plausible to me. That's the way I try.

Kiwi the Geek said...

Revision: It sounds like your daughter doesn't have Biblical grounds for divorce, unless her husband initiates it. If she's still married, I think any Christian is bound to support that. Separation and tough love may be necessary, but I would say it's wrong to give up on reconciliation. If he were to abandon her, or take up with another woman unrepentantly, then it would be right to divorce and IMO, wrong to have aught to do with him, though forgiveness would still be required.

This sounds callous, but I had an 18 year internship in family dysfunction, emphasis in alcoholism. I know it's only possible with God.

Sorry for the confusion. By the time I got to this newly opened window, I had forgotten the context, that this was the son-in-law you were talking about.