My Dad just taught me something on forgiveness. And I wanted to share.
Forgiving someone can be like bringing an account to zero. Kind of like writing off bad debt. But then, sometimes, we have relationships we can't write off. They are still in our lives. But honestly, they are messing up our balance. How do you account for those relationships?
These relationships are normally the ones we've invested in. And somehow, sometime, we are now in the negatives. Something happens. Forgiveness decides on not holding onto that debt. And so, Dad mentioned, how do you fix the books? You put it into "accounts clearing". A Clearing Account is an account you use to move money from one account to another account when you cannot move the money directly. This account normally has a balance of $0.00 because you always take out the same amount that you put in. In other words, it's a way to start back at $0. It's normally also a temporary account. Until you can find where to move that transaction accurately.
I wanted to just write off my hard relationship. Reconciliation is impossible at this point. I craved some sort of closure. And Dad told me to move it to accounts clearing, and to let God figure out the rest. Start at zero.
But how to practically apply that? How to interact with that person?
Well...how do I interact with people I've had zero investment in? I am cordial. I am polite. I have a level of interest in their life. I'll smile. I'm kind. That's how I'm to act. The negatives are erased. Gone.
Hurt and pride would like to hold some people to their debt. Forgiveness says "you owe me nothing."
Should some people be held accountable for their actions? Should tyrants be defied and abusers exposed? Should we be intolerant of sin? Should truth be irrevocably proclaimed. Does love call for repentance? ABSOLUTELY YES.
Is that compatible with forgiveness? YES. Love, truth, forgiveness, rebuking, provoking, exhortation, confrontation -- all of them are expected by our God. Commands. And we must obey. They are all results of obedience. And they are holy responses.
Spiritual Abuse Part 1