05.05.16 / Posted by jirehconsult

There is a huge difference between forgiving and forgetting. Forgive and forget? Forgive, yes. Forget, no. There is a lesson to be learnt from it all. Don’t miss the lesson.

Likewise, forgive does equate to reversion to status quo ante for relationship.
Forgiveness is for the one who is offended to do, with no exceptions or proviso or conditions. It has to be unconditional.

To resume the relationship is for the offender to work on, with a lot of sincere effort. “I’m sorry” even when you genuinely mean it, is not enough to resume the relationship.

According to Rick Warren:
~ Restoring a relationship requires repentance. In other words, you’re truly saddened about what you did. That’s not just saying, “I’m sorry.” It means saying, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” You can be sorry that the weather was bad or something like that, but repentance is admitting wrong and being truly sorry.
~ Restoring a relationship requires restitution. Sometimes you have to do some kind of physical or material restitution. Even when you’re forgiven, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You still have to pay a debt to society or to someone for what was damaged or destroyed by your actions.
~ Restoring a relationship requires rebuilding trust. That, friends, takes a long, long time. When somebody hurts you, you have to forgive him or her immediately. But you don’t have to trust that person immediately. Forgiveness is built on grace and is unconditional. Trust has to be rebuilt over a period of time.
Most people in our culture don’t get the difference between forgiveness and rebuilding trust in a relationship. Whenever a political or religious leader gets caught in a scandal, there will always be people who say, “We’re all imperfect. We’re all human. We need to just forgive him and keep on going.”

Actually this is a big no-no.
Trust, once broken, will take a long time to rebuild and the feeling to heal.
Credibility is lost when trust is broken. And even when rebuilt, the crack lines of the broken trust will always be there.

Sadly, many just pay and play “I’m sorry” lip service and expect the offended to trust them again. I forgive you does not mean that I forget or I trust you again.

So before you say what you want to say, think hard.

Debbie Koh
May 2016