A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-04) from his book, Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe (p. 34). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
That’s a good question and this one goes with it is, “Does it mean we have to trust the other person again?” There is great confusion in the answer to these questions.
Larry says, “Some people seem to think so. Once they've been forgiven, they expect to be immediately restored to full trust and relationship. But that's not the case. Trust, close relationships, and forgiveness are not necessarily related. While forgiveness puts aside all bitterness and all plans for revenge, it doesn't make someone trustworthy or turn the person back into our best friend. Trust has to be earned. Close social ties are a privilege. We don't owe anyone either one.”
That is so important to understand. As he says, “While forgiveness puts aside all bitterness and all plans for revenge” and that is what God tells us to do. We leave the revenge, the judgment up to him. That is his responsibility. And forgiveness has a way of taking away the bitterness. We are not to be bitter. But then he goes on to say, “it doesn’t make someone trustworthy or turn the person back into our best friend. Trust has to be earned.”
Does that make a difference in a situation in your life?