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What’s the difference between holding a grudge and being cautious in your interactions with someone who’s hurt you? Can you forgive someone but still maintain distance from them in the future? Is it possible to actually wipe the slate clean?
Conversations with my gentleman friend often progress from simple updates about our days to deep, thoughtful questions such as these. It’s one of the things I appreciate most about our relationship – we don’t shy away from the hard topics, and we’re genuinely interested in learning from each other.
But our conversation about forgiveness the other night left me scratching my head. As I ruminated on these questions throughout the next day, I found myself wondering if there were people in my life that I hadn’t truly forgiven. Had I honestly let go of the wrongs they’d done toward me? Or was I still clinging to those injustices out of a need to justify my cold shoulder toward them? Was it okay to avoid interaction with them, or was that unloving?
Questions like these require soul searching and truth seeking, so I turned to the only solid truths I know: the Word and words. That is to say, I turned to God, and I sought to better understand the meaning behind the words I was tossing around. What is a grudge? What is forgiveness really? What does the Bible have to say about self-defense?
My searching brought me to these five insights. Continue reading