I have had a long struggle with forgiving some former Christian friends over the last few years. I was deeply hurt by the deceptive things they did, by their unkind words and the lies told to others of things that never happened, by their pitting one friend over another, by their “in my face” comments they made to me after everything they did to destroy a relationship I was working on building with a special man in my life at the time. I learned 4 of my friends were not my friends. One of them introduced me to this gentleman and encouraged a relationship to bud and then in the end decided she wanted him instead and she deceived and gained the 3 other friends of ours to be her allies, along with some women in her church and left me with no one in my corner. She accomplished getting him to give up on what we had been building by threats to his job as a pastor of her small church and worked very hard and long to gain his attention after she got him away from me, but to no avail. When he finally decided to leave the area she decided she wanted to be my friend once again, as did 1 of the other gals. They truly acted like they had no idea why I wanted nothing to do with them and apparently had no idea how they had hurt me or maybe it was that they did not care or maybe they believed the myth of what forgiveness is all about. Nevertheless, the pain that was caused from that experience was something I never wished to live through again and I was certain that if someone else ever came into my life they would have moved in and did the same thing. One of those friends was married and had 3 children when this all happened. She stated she was happily married, but she had told me one day that I was not deserving of marrying a pastor, she should have married one. This friend had a husband who loved her dearly, but out of her jealousy and coveting what she thought I had and who she thought was better than who she had married, she joined the band wagon to destroy what I was building with this man with the thought in mind, I guess, “If I cannot have one, then she will not have one either.” Jealousy was a huge part of all of these women’s hearts and none of them got anything from what they did – in my viewpoint they are the ones who lost the most. Sure, I lost 4 friends that apparently were not my true friends. I lost a relationship with a man, but maybe that was how it was to be because I learned things about him through this that would have been deal breakers for me if I were to have been in a relationship with him long term. It still hurts, but today I believe that it was probably never what God would have wanted for me and that took some time for me to accept that.
The one friend who was married has more kids now and is still with the man who loves her unconditionally. The other three are all married now and enjoying their lives with a spouse and some with children too.
I remain single to this day and have never met anyone I have longed to spend the rest of my life with. Maybe it will never be – maybe it is still to happen. I do know that I have no regrets, I would do what I did all over again because I have nothing to be ashamed of. I know I am less trusting of people and that is not something I had hoped would come out of it, but maybe I was too trusting.
You may be wondering, but I have forgiven these people in my heart. Sure, things will bring back the memories of that from time to time, but I do not wish to think about it anymore and have moved beyond it. These women have tried on more than one occasion to waltz back into my life and I simply have to walk away. I think I would be a fool to ever trust them again with my heart or life! I never wish anything bad to happen to them – I wish them the best, but with a very distant wedge between them and I.
The huge difference between them and I is that I would never, ever have done what they did to me. It is just not like me to drop to that level and do that to a friend. I value my friendships far more than getting between others in their life – jealousy never accomplishes any good and deception is a sure killer to any relationship. I hope they will learn that at some point in their life.
I leave you with Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Forgiveness is key because if you cannot forgive and move ahead in life , it will affect your walk with Christ and it only eats you alive and life is too short to carry around the baggage of the hurt and pain from negative treatment from others. You are far more worthy to live a full life and grow from such an experience and those who caused the pain and hurt should not be allowed to take up space in your heart or mind any longer. It is okay to let go of it and give it over to God! It is an ongoing process, but well worth the freedom you will receive from forgiving others.
I love this quote from Corrie Ten Boom:
““Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” May you be able to forgive someone who has done you wrong – don’t lose another minute, hour, day, week to carrying around the load of unforgiveness – love yourself enough to ask God to help you forgive them and then embrace life once again!
Forgiveness… not so easy to do but necessary for each of us. However, I wish that I had heard this video when I was faced with the abuses and infidelity in my marriage. In my mind, I believed that forgiveness meant to forgive and forget like nothing ever happened. I would have saved myself a lot of heartache if I would have understood what true forgiveness was. This is excellent advice for many of us as we confront the many problems occurring today.