Righteous anger. I know ALL about it. That person’s behavior is despicable and uncalled for and they should absolutely apologize. And they don’t. Just because. Perhaps owning the bad behavior would require some humility. Perhaps the shame is too much to face. So what happens inevitably is they withdraw- from the relationship, the family, facebook, whatever. It is a sad thing to watch.
When you want to maintain relationship with this person, for the simple reason that they are connected to people you care about and you don’t want there to be discomfort, what do you do? You seriously are in a dilemma.
Enter forgiveness. You suspect they may not interested in fixing the relationship since they haven’t apologized. You know you didn’t deserve the slap. Who should forgive who?
Obviously, this person has a journey to forgive you. Do you have a journey to forgive them? I propose that you do, righteous anger or not. Especially if you are a follower of Jesus. Is it easy? Not at all. So why not just leave things the way they are? Let the relationship go? Who needs that kind of a person in your life anyway?
Jesus invited Judas into the house for the last supper, and washed his feet just like everyone else. He is no respector of persons. Nor should I be if I am His follower. Jesus said I came not to be served but to serve. Tough words to avoid.
Now comes the “humble” part. Approaching this person, saying, you are sorry, can only happen after you have truly forgiven them. And that may take some time. And don’t be fooled that you are capable of doing that in your own strength.
I don’t know what i would do without the grace and love of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew what He was doing when He left this amazing Helper for us. He knew we were going to need all the help we can get.
That is how to begin the forgiveness process. From the servant heart of God. Apologizing for the thing you clearly didn’t do, but perhaps appeared to do, is a humble move of God that can only happen with His grace and power. However, I think forgiveness from the heart for the slander and the lie must come first.
I pray something like this. “Father, I do not feel like forgiving this guy. He clearly was out of order and everything he said was a lie. I don’t know how to let go without your power. So please transform my heart to be soft towards this person. I do not excuse the bad behavior, but I do believe I must forgive. Help me. ”
When you realize some time later that you are no longer thinking of all the indignation you feel over the slam, and can picture that person without wanting to throw darts at their face, you may be ready to approach them and apologize. Are they required to apologize back? Don’t let your apology be contingent on that. They may not be ready. They may not have even thought about it again. But you have. And you are the one feeling the pain. That is all you are accomplishing here. Apologize and let it go.
As I was ruminating about this whole process, which I recently went through and the feelings are still fresh in my mind, I consider what would happen in America if all the Trump Haters would forgive the Deplorables for choosing the wrong guy? And could all the Deplorables forgive the Trump Haters for hating them? And most of all, can we forgive Donald Trump for being a pompass and mouthy man?
What if? It clearly has to start with the followers of Christ. We have a model of forgiving behavior. So I just want to say, on behalf of other deplorables, (yes I am one) I am sorry your candidate lost. I pray that you begin to let go the loss and gear up to win the next time. That is what is great about America. And I forgive you for the attacks on my personhood because I simply disagree with your brand of patriotism.
I am so glad we live in America and have freedom of speech. I am also glad we have freedom to forgive. It is a choice. And one I encourage to consider. And by the way, unfriending someone on facebook because their politics make you angry….. That is not forgiveness. That is the opposite. Someone needs to start the ball to reconciliation going. Let it be me. I forgive all of you who unfriended me. I pray you come to understand that the love of Jesus far outweighs politics.
Whew. That felt good.