Thursday, May 15, 2014

Finding the Balance: An Exploration in Forgiveness

     Sometimes I feel like what I am supposed to do and what it would make sense to do are the polar opposite. This is an issue I often have with forgiveness. I always find the "70 times 7" verse and the "turn the other cheek" verse when I'm looking for verses about forgiveness, but my brain tells me that if I keep on constantly forgiving people for the same thing, I am just going to get hurt again. So my struggle is, where do I draw the line? Do I take that verse literally and forgive everyone exactly 490 times? Somehow I don't think that's how it's supposed to go. I think it means I am supposed to forgive as many times as is necessary, but that seems like a bad idea to the logical side of my mind because once I make the decision to forgive, I worry that it seems like I'm giving permission for people to hurt me again. I'm tempted to think that people will figure out that I will keep forgiving them and think that they can get away with continuously hurting me.
     I am at a place in life right now where I am realizing that there is a certain way I expect to be treated, and I have accused several times (not by reasonable adults, thankfully) of expecting too much. I am having to learn the hard way that expecting to be respected can leave people with the impression that my standards are too high or that I am overreacting. I have often worried that by expecting to be treated a certain way, I am not being forgiving like I'm supposed to be, but on the other hand, I don't think God expects me to be a doormat and allow everyone to walk all over me. I am having to find a balance between respecting myself and being obedient to God, and it has been hard.
     So I guess what I'm doing right now is trying to find the perfect balance.I haven't been able to find a specific verse or had a moment of realization on the answer to this problem so far, but I'm not ready to give up just yet.  There must be a way to be a forgiving person without allowing myself to be constantly taken advantage of, and I hope I find it soon.

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