Monday, January 27, 2014


Today I received an interesting friend request on Facebook. The person was someone who I had a falling out with several years ago. They betrayed my trust and I have rarely spoken to them since the incident. This friend request brought up a long struggle I have had with forgiveness.

I have often tried to wrap my head around forgiveness with little success. I know that I should forgive and I have really tried over the years to let this incident go. I continually tell myself and others that I have forgiven the people involved and I have accepted that they acted in accordance with their personalities (so honestly it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me what they did). But I still have pangs in my heart. I'm hurt by the betrayal of someone I considered a friend and by people that I deeply trusted. I'm hurt by the fact that the people involved acted recklessly with no care for how I felt. Yes, it still stings after all this time to think about it.

One thing I have learned though is that forgiveness is an attitude of the mind not a feeling in my heart. I love this quote from Joyce Meyer:

Meyer also points out that forgiveness is not the same as forgetting:
I have often thought that if God wanted to have me "forgive and forget" He wouldn't have equipped me with such a capable memory.

I did at least give this person the chance to tell me their side of the story following the incident. I called them out and told them how much they had hurt me. Basically they admitted to acting on their own selfish impulse and owned up fully to what happened. They said they were sorry but that was about it. After that conversation there has not been much, if any, contact until now. I think we saw each other once but no real dialogue was exchanged.

All that to say...I don't think I will be adding this person as a friend on Facebook. I have forgiven them but I have not forgotten the hurt they caused and, knowing their personality and that they can, will, and do act according to that personality, I do not feel I could trust them again.

What do you think? Did I do the right thing? What would you have done? Should I add them on Facebook and try to "bury the hatchet"?

P.S. Sorry for being so vague about this incident. I do care enough about the person to not totally air their laundry. Also, the incident was deeply wounding for me and, as cathartic as blogging about incidents such as this can be, I'd rather save it for a face to face convo. Thanks for understanding.

1 comment:

  1. I actually dealt with something super similar recently. The person who betrayed me didn't approach me, but I happened to stumble on some pictures of them and I immediately felt the same "pangs." I kept the pictures because they were some of the few "good" memories I had with them and thought it would be mature for me to at least try and keep some good thoughts about them around. But when I stumbled on the pictures again I realized that even though they were good moments in those snapshots, it wasn't a good relationship and I was still bitter about them as a person. I hunkered down in prayer and suddenly had peace about just deleting them all.

    I, too, have told people that I forgave this person but I really didn't. There was still that part of me that wanted to hold on to just the littlest part of them, even these pictures of good moments, so that I could continue to be bitter. By deleting them, I wasn't trying to delete them out of my memory or try to not acknowledge their existence in my past, but the fact of the matter is, they are no longer in my life now. I'm a different person now. God has forgiven me for what happened and there's nothing else I can do on my end. There's nothing else that I need to do. I remember them, good and bad times, but there's no need to keep them around in pictures, not matter how small of an arena that is in my life now. It just proves to dredge up bad feelings and un-forgiveness. If I can accept that it happened, lean on God to help me through it, and stop holding on to pieces of that relationship that help keep me in sin by making me bitter, then I know that's what God wants me to do.

    So I think you did the right thing. We can forgive and move on without trying to put on a good face and be BFF's again. Because honestly, it will probably be a lie, and that won't bring glory to God. By not accepting their friend request you weren't being nasty, you were doing what's best for you. If you can calmly walk away, it doesn't seem like there's even a hatchet left to be buried, which means there is forgiveness in your heart already.