To listen to the blog post “Forgive But Do Not Forget Why Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Reconciliation” over reading it just press the play button below.
Forgiveness and reconciliation do not always go hand and hand. I have learned that we can forgive someone but it is best to forgive them from a distance and leave them where they are.
As a Christian I get it, the Bible says forgive YES but the Bible does not encourage you to come back to people who are going to use, abuse you, talk to you any kind of way, cheat on you, and mistreat you. You are not anyone’s punching bag or doormat. Forgiveness has nothing to do with letting a person back into your life. This is why in this post I am going to explain:
- Forgiveness vs reconciliation
- Why Forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation
- And why you can forgive but do not forget
Also, check out my video below on why you need to forgive but not forget and click here to subscribe to my channel.
1. Forgive But Do Not Forget ~ Forgiveness And Reconciliation The Difference
I want to start off by telling you a story to best illustrate my point on forgiveness and reconciliation. I remember the time when I was dealing with an ex. They were someone that had wronged me time and time again. In a misguided effort to forgive them, I continued to let them in my life over and over again.
Leading to fights, arguing, and getting frustrated with one another. For some reason, we just could not get along. And I thought that since I had forgiven him, that I had to keep letting him come back. Because each and every time he said sorry. Each and every time I forgave him and each and every time he would do me dirty again.
I finally realized something about this person. They are completely and utterly crazy. They are disrespectful, rude, and they talk to me in any type of way. They have a blatant disregard for how I felt and they were a selfish person. They were not my friend and they were causing me pain. I had to realize that some people you are not meant to be friends or even boyfriends with forever.
Meaning that you grow out of people or maybe you should have never been involved with that person in the first place. At this point, a wonderful revelation came to me. I do not have to deal with this person. I can choose to have sanity and I can choose to let this person go about their business and not worry about what they do. It does not mean that I will hate them, but I can forgive them from a distance. (Also check out my blog on forgiving your enemies), that you can forgive but do not forget, and forgiveness and reconciliation don’t always go hand and hand.
Forgive But Do Not Forget ~ Forgiveness Doesn’t Mean Reconciliation What’s my point
- According to the dictionary, forgiveness means: to cease to feel resentment against. With that being said I did not feel resentment toward my ex and most importantly nowhere in that definition does it say that I have to keep on allowing my friend to abuse me emotionally and verbally. The definition just clearly means that I harbor no resentment or ill will toward them and they do not have to be in my life for me to do that.
- According to the dictionary, the definition of reconciliation means the restoration of friendly relations. Meaning that you can forgive someone but you do not have to be friends with them. You do not have to keep giving your ex a chance. And you do not have to keep being with a man who cheats on you.
“Forgiveness does not mean allowing someone to abuse you over and over again. “
2. Forgive But Do Not Forget ~ Forgiveness And Reconciliation Don’t Always Go Hand And Hand
Before I get into why forgiveness doesn’t mean reconciliation I want to give you a hypothetical scenario. If your friend is a kleptomaniac thief, and you let them stay at your house, and when they are in your house they steal some of your things. You can forgive them, but if you choose to let them in your house again and again and again, knowing they are a thief and they steal from you each time, then you have no one to blame but yourself.
I am a huge proponent of common sense. I am also a huge advocate of not making stupid decisions for yourself and constantly putting yourself in a bad situation and calling it forgiveness. There are times when we do not need to reconcile with someone because to do so will create a bad situation for us. As is the case if you were to let a thief into your house.
You knew they were a thief. You can forgive them for stealing your stuff but do they really need to come back into your home? Do you really need to leave your most valuable things in their presence? And if you do, and they steal from you then you have no right to say “I forgave you why did you steal from me again.” They stole from you again because they are a thief! The better question is why did you let them in your house knowing what they were capable of?
I am not saying we should not help people or try not to get along with people. But you cannot make people change who they are and they really might have some deep-rooted issues that keep them from being normal. And if you allow these deep-rooted issues in your circle then their issues can rub off on you causing to have issues of your own.
Forgive But Do Not Forget ~ Forgiveness And Reconciliation Case in Point
I once had a female co-worker. She too was an unstable human being. The definition of friendship to her meant that she would ask me for things like money, finish her paperwork on the job because she did not want to do it or to see her clients when she did not feel like seeing them. When I did not give her what she wanted, she would get mad, and talk to me any kind of way. The relationship I had with her was mentally exhausting. She wanted us to hang out more and be friends.
But I couldn’t. Dealing with her was hard. Her sense of normalcy was not my sense of normalcy. And her workload began to be my workload. I was falling behind on my stuff because I was too busy being mixed up in her stuff. I was having trouble at work and becoming a bad employee because she was having trouble at work and becoming a bad employee.
I decided to walk away. I was not angry with her. I forgave her. But I had to draw the line in the sand and there was no reconciliation with her. Since I moved on from my friendship with her I have gotten better jobs, I became a better employee, I did my job better, and I even made time to go back to school. It was a lot easier to make room for my future when I was not so bogged down with her life and her issues. I learned that some people cannot take with you to your future.
It may be those same people that are keeping you from your future. That is why it is best to realize who you must move on from and who you can help.
“Not everyone is going to accept your help and not everyone is going to change because you’ve helped them.”
I have come to learn that you have to know when to let go and letting go does not equal unforgiveness.
“You may need someone go because they are weighing you down and the only way for you to stay afloat is to cut the dead weight. “
3. Forgive But Do Not Forget ~ Forgiveness And Reconciliation Knowing The Difference
Therefore, I challenge you to look at the people with who you have forgiven but you do not need to reconcile with. Some of the indications are:
- Bringing you down (also check out my blog on how to deal with people who bring you down)
- Causing you more harm than good
- Mistaking your kindness for weakness
- Cheating on you over and over again after you have taken them back
- Emotional and/or physical abuse
- Disrespecting you
- Disregarding your feelings
- Making you feel bad about yourself
- If they are going down the wrong path and they want to take you with them.
- If you feel like they are holding you back from going after your goals.
- If their bad habits are starting to become your bad habits.
Remember, forgiveness and reconciliation do not always go hand and hand. Most importantly, forgiveness does not equal doormat.
If you know someone that needs to read the message then please feel free to share this information with them.