Unilateral Forgiveness

Monday, January 8                  

Jim was counseling a young Christian lady who had been terribly abused by her own father.  She went to him to forgive and to have a loving relationship with him.  But it all fell on deaf ears.  He wanted nothing to do with her.  She felt helpless, unloved, and a failure.   Jim met her need by elaborating on this truth: “Forgiveness takes only one person; reconciliation takes two.”  The young lady was not responsible for her father’s reaction, which was a great relief to her.  A staff lady once came to me in our school in Bolivia who was having a problem getting along with another staff lady.  I asked her if she had talked with the other lady about it.  “Oh, no.  She would never listen to me or change her attitude.”  I told her that she needed to do her part and leave the rest of it with the Lord.  The other lady’s response was not her responsibility.  Ten minutes later she came back glowing.  Everything had been reconciled.  But it doesn’t always work that way.  Paul tells us in Rom. 12:18 “ . . . as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”  We can’t guarantee restoration, but we need to make every effort to do it.  We still need to forgive and we need to love despite a negative response.  And don’t forget to pray!

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