April 9th at theMILL was Q&A night. With 3X5 cards and pens on every chair, the topics for the night are undetermined and come at random. There are two guidelines for this out-of-the-ordinary-night: No questions are off-limits and I will only discard questions that were blatantly inappropriate…other than that anything goes. Though I have done this several times at theMILL, I get nervous every time. I expect the usual dating and tattoo questions but have no idea what curveballs will get thrown my way. I prepare by asking God for wisdom and His direction for the night. Then it is jumping into the question abyss and doing my best to answer as many questions as possible on the fly over the course of 45 minutes. I really love Q&A at theMILL and encourage people to not shy away from questions as they can lead us to truth and faith. For an audio of Q&A night at theMILL click here.
I only get through a small percentage of the stack of questions so I have committed to answer a question a week on my blog for a few weeks. So here goes.
IS IT A SIN TO HAVE "FORGIVEN" SOMEONE WHO HAS BADLY HURT ME BUT NOT "TRUST" THEM EVEN IF THEY'VE DONE EVERYTHING TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT WITH ME?
When someone hurts us it is imperative that we forgive him or her. This is often easier said than done but it is something we are directed to do in Scripture no matter how deeply we are wounded or how often we are hurt (Matthew 8:21-35, Mark 11:25, Colossians 3:13). To withhold forgiveness is not only opposite of the way of Jesus but destructive to our own hearts.
When talking about hurt and forgiveness, it is important to realize that forgiveness is not synonymous with trust. Our relationships with others are built on trust and when that trust is violated it changes the dynamic of the relationship. Though forgiveness may happen relatively quickly, trust is built over time. Forgiveness is a prerequisite for trust to be built, but trust is not automatic. Depending on the violation it may be that trust is never fully rebuilt (i.e. rape by a supposed friend, sexually inappropriate behavior from a family member, etc.).
I think of it like a bathtub of water. Building trust is similar to filling the tub with a drip or slow trickle – it will fill up but it takes time. When someone damages that trust, especially in a significant way, it is like pulling the plug to the drain and the water emptying quickly. To refill the tub again will take time, so having forgiven someone without fully trusting them is normal.
If they demonstrate trustworthiness over the course of time, the tub can be refilled and trust can be reestablished.