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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Forgiveness vs. The Restoration of Trust

In review of Romans 12:19 it says, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord”

Bottom Line:
Don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. For he says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”

What this means to me:
I should not try to get revenge on my own, rather I should let God take revenge, for he has told me in His Word that he “is the one to take revenge and pay them back.”

Today's verse comes from Romans chapter 12 where Paul is explaining how to be a living sacrifice to God. Paul covers a lot of ground in this chapter and ends with how we are to never pay back evil with more evil. We are to do things in such a way that everyone can see we are honorable and living a peace with everyone. Therefore He tells us to never take revenge. We are to leave that to the righteous anger of God.

So in reality, who has a better arsenal to repay, me or God? Who can settle the score better, me or God? I think God! I have to choose whether I’m going to get back at someone or let God be the God of justice. So I need to learn to let God be the God of justice.

This brings me back to the subject of forgiveness from yesterday’s study. Forgiveness does not mean the instant restoration of trust. Forgiveness is instant. Trust is something that must be rebuilt over time. Forgiveness is based on grace. Trust is built on works. You earn trust. You don’t earn forgiveness.

I think a lot of people have problems with forgiveness, because they think if they forgive, then they’ve got to trust them again. However what I’m learning is that trust is a whole different issue. So forgiving someone does not mean I have to trust that person. That person still has to re-earn the trust.

Forgiveness and a restoration of a relationship are two different things. Forgiveness is only my part, whether they respond or not, whether they ask for it or not, whether they even recognize they need it or not. I forgive for my own sake. The restoration of a relationship takes far more than forgiveness. It takes repentance. It takes restitution and a rebuilding of trust.

So while many may think they can’t forgive because that would mean going back to the same old way. It’s not true. But I do have to leave it to God. So to release any hurt, I leave it to God.