Forgiveness gives opportunity for reconciliation. However, it does not guarantee a re-establishment of trust. Forgiveness is instant, trust is a result of observing behavioral changes. The enemy will have you think that you shouldn’t have forgiven them, to keep you from forgiving in the future. It’s a trap, he knows what the Word says about forgiveness.
Don’t be fooled, forgiveness didn’t hurt you, it FREED you. Leaving the door open to reconcile (in terms of restoration) didn’t hurt you, it helped heal you. Prematurely trusting the forgiven is what hurt you.
At the end of the day, we can always reflect to the Word of God concerning our obligation to forgive:
· “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
· “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25
· “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:15
As you can see, scripture not only addresses forgiveness, but its importance. Imagine a grudge so powerful that it keeps you separated from God! I can’t speak for you, but I refuse to miss Jesus because of a grudge!!!
Forgive, offer an opportunity to be reconciled, and guard your heart in the process. I recently saw a Facebook post that said, “Still moving with love, just practicing much more discernment.” Here is the revelation. Forgive freely, trust cautiously. Remember you are responsible for stewarding your heart. Trusting prematurely can place your heart in a position to be broken once again, the scripture in Proverbs 4:23 comes to mind, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” The heart is essential to life, so it must be protected at all costs! Forgive freely, trust cautiously.
“When can I let my guard down?” The answer is simple…. “When God says so!” Consider this passage found in Proverbs 3:5-6, “5 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. 6 Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.” (Message Bible)
That’s it, forgive instantly, you deserve to be free. However, when it comes to trust, proceed with caution. #ProtectYourHeart