|Forgiven, But Not Trusted?Loving actions can do much more than change your feelings; they can also communicate in unmistakable terms the reality of your forgiveness and your commitment to reconciliation. Thomas Edison apparently understood this principle. When he and his staff were developing the incandescent light bulb, it took hundreds of hours to manufacture a single bulb. One day, after finishing a bulb, he handed it to a young errand boy and asked him to take it upstairs to the testing room. As the boy turned and started up the stairs, he stumbled and fell, and the bulb shattered on the steps. Instead of rebuking the boy, Edison reassured him and then turned to his staff and told them to start working on another bulb.When it was completed several days later, Edison demonstrated the reality of his forgiveness in the most powerful way possible. He walked over to the same boy, handed him the bulb, and said, “Please take this up to the testing room.” Imagine how that boy must have felt. He knew that he didn’t deserve to be trusted with this responsibility again. Yet, here it was, being offered to him as though nothing had happened. Nothing could have restored this boy to the team more clearly, more quickly, or more fully. How much more should those of us who have experienced reconciliation with God be quick to demonstrate our forgiveness with concrete actions.
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 222-223
Food for Thought
One of the central (and often most neglected) elements of forgiveness is offering our trust again to the one who failed us. In some cases, it is entirely appropriate and necessary for us to set restrictions on a person who has violated trust (for example, prohibiting an adult who has hurt children from being alone with other children in the future, even when the adult is forgiven). But in many cases, withholding trust from those we forgive can be just a subtle form of continuing punishment or failure to truly reconcile. Isn’t it good that God doesn’t require that we “earn His trust” when we fail Him? Each day He gives us opportunities to experience His restoration and His trust, not just His forgiveness. Is there someone you have forgiven who needs to feel your trust today?
|Resources to Help You Respond to Conflict BiblicallyFriends let you down. A romance turns sour. Children rebel. A church is divided. You feel like you don’t measure up. Is there really hope for living at peace?Yes! In Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict, Tara Barthel and Judy Dabler use personal stories and advice that is firmly rooted in Scripture to guide you to peace with God, peaceful relationships with others, and genuine peace within. Order this new book today for $13.95 from our online bookstore or call our Resource department at 800-711-7118.
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