It’s the betrayal by one closest to you, one whom you trust or have come to trust, that hurts the most. The questions that arise after such acts usually are – How dare he/she do this to me? What did I do to deserve it? That is uncalled for and I am never EVER going to be able to trust this person again.
But the real question that the hurt ones should be asked is this – Why does this surprise you?
Human race is socially flawed, a concept that took roots long before Aristotle came up with his famous phrase “Man is a social animal”. Then if we are wired to be not perfect, to make mistakes and not score A+ at every test that life throws at us… Shouldn’t it be easier to forgive?
When it is inevitable that you are never going to come across a person who will never wrong you or you will never wrong someone, shouldn’t tolerance be at an all-time high? When everybody is headed in the same direction, shouldn’t the journey be more comfortable?
I have shed numerous tears, sat through numerous conversations, tried to talk sense to myself and many a times to those who are as bitter as me. Forgiveness becomes a stingy reserve. I hold on to it tightly for fear that if I forgive I will no longer hate. I want to continue hating because the self-righteous anger feels right. It feels right to stone someone else. After all some should bear the blame and it’s definitely not going to be me.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
I am angry over something that happened yesterday and yes, I want to remain bitter and never trust that person again. But whenever I try to go down that road, I come face to face with a question that I have no answer for – Why is it so difficult to forgive when you have been forgive for much worse?