Forgiveness and Trust

Forgiveness and Trust April 29, 2014

Confusing forgiveness and trust means that forgiveness doesn’t actually have any teeth; it’s grace without power. But the whole point of forgiveness is to help a sinner change. Forgiveness certainly restores fellowship, but love cares about proclivities, weaknesses, and wants to see real healing happen. If your husband has an anger issue, a porn problem, if a teacher or a pastor is too handsy with the girls, if a dad has blind spots and is systematically alienating his kids in the name of headship and responsibility, the hard but loving thing is to forgive him and get help, forgive him and don’t pretend everything may just go on as it always has. That isn’t love. That isn’t grace. It’s actually some kind of hatred. And we can’t be surprised that after a number of years of this sort thing, the whole thing blows up and everybody does hate each other. Turns out practice does make perfect.

There’s typically a whole hornet’s nest of complicating factors in these sorts of situations, but one way of helpfully beginning to clear away the mess is by carefully, prayerfully beginning to make this distinction in your mind and in your practice. Learn to forgive first, learn to seek peace, but wisdom isn’t blind and remember: trust is a privilege not a right.

-Pastor Sumpter on Real Grace: The Difference between Trust and Forgiveness 

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