UNFORGIVING

The offender never pardons (Old English Proverb).

Have you ever been in a situation where you were wronged yet the offender is mad at YOU!  I have–countless times.  At what point does the blame get shifted from the perpetrator to the victim?  What’s the timeframe?  Does it depend on the act?  A partner cheated on gets mad when they are caught cheating when the injured party ends the relationship.  A criminal, once caught and convicted, blames the victim for the punishment they “can’t endure”.  “Look what you’ve done” or “Look what you made me do” are common responses to victims of domestic violence or rape.

The simplest example I can think of in routine, day-to-day, life is when a driver has a close call due to their poor driving decision (almost a head-on collision passing foolishly for example).  The passenger, understandably, gasps, and the driver gets angry at the passenger because “you scared me”.  Well, sorry, but I just messed my pants because I thought, for sure, my life was ending in a matter of seconds because of your dumb decision.  But, please, forgive me for making a small end-of-life noise that “scared you”.

I’ve been on the wrong end of betrayals so many time I finally accept I am a terrible judge of character.  Without fail, when I have been horribly betrayed, third parties have come to me advocating for the betrayer because they “feel so bad and need forgiveness”.

Only victims are asked to forgive unconditionally.  Well, forgive me for holding you accountable for the way you treat me and taking steps to protect myself from you.  I’m sure forgiveness is not meant to be a free pass on anything and everything you want to do to a me.  Sure, I can (and will) forgive you wrongs against me but that is between me and God and it does not mean you are not still accountable for the consequences of your actions (as am I).  It does NOT mean I get to be a victim over and over again because I am trying to be the person God calls me to be.

Don’t use my faith and beliefs to justify your treatment of me or to grant you additional opportunities to capitalize on our relationship.  Relationships are about two people not one.

Rant over!

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Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

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