I heard the following advice at a conference and later shared it with a friend. At the conference, the speaker was thinking large (like in relationships between countries) and small (like when a husband abuses his wife). My question for you, is this Biblical?
As Christians we must forgive others. You need to forgive, regardless of whether you see the person again. Forgiveness does not require that person to apologize. Nor does it require reconciliation. Restraint may even be part of the situation. You forgive, but you restrain the person from hurting you or the ones you love.
Reconciliation Reconciliation is when the relationship is put back in a right place. This requires repentance/apologizing (possibly on both sides). Reconciliation means you forgive and you come back into a right relationship with one another, AND you don’t hurt the other person because you have changed/repented.
Restraint You can forgive someone, as in truly come to believe that they do not owe you anything (even an apology), without continuing a relationship with them (reconciliation). Some people do not change. If someone cannot stop hurting you or someone you love, restraint might be needed. Notice the use of the word “restraint” not “retaliation.”
To really reconnect with someone I have hurt, I must repent of my actions. I must admit I did it, confess it is wrong and stop doing it. This is real repentance. Saying, “I’m sorry, but…” will not cut it. No excuses. Repent and experience reconcilitation. Without repentance, there is no reconciliation.
What do you think? Is this Biblical or am I trying to get out of doing what God calls me to do when someone slaps me on the cheek? Share your thoughts in the comments section.