I was re-reading and the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers when I came across this phrase, “Forgiveness is a decision; trust takes time.” How true. We can choose to forgive someone who has hurt us, but it takes time to rebuild trust—especially in intimate relationships. Husbands and wives, children and parents, long-time friends.

Forgiveness is giving up the responsibility of holding another responsible. Forgiveness is for you; it allows you to relinquish the angst. It does not mean there will automatically be reconciliation. Both parties must be willing to work at restoring the relationship, even though it will never be exactly the same again. Betrayal changes you. It causes you to put away the rose-colored glasses and the fairy tale mentality. Hopefully, it drives you to the one truly safe place—the arms of God.

Building trust is hard work. Saying you are sorry is not enough. It takes time and interaction and is fed by the loving kindness we display toward each other. It involves keeping promises, even when it hurts. We can only show people why they are important to us by inviting the Lord into the relationship. For a while, His love may be the only love we have to give.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus. (Romans 15:5). There is hope, even when hope seems lost.




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