Receiving a hug through a bag of trash

As followers of Christ we are to offer forgiveness regardless of there being an apology expressed for an offense.

Unfortunately, some “offenders” look at this and dismiss the idea of offering an apology and assume forgiveness has been given and that the relationship has been restored to its previous state.  This is unfortunate because if you ask anyone who has been wronged, it is challenging to offer affection and return the relationship to normal without that apology.

Quite like receiving a hug through a bag of trash. 

You want the connection, but there is this mess between you that you should probably clean up.  The question I hear often is along the lines of “who is responsible for” cleaning up the trash?

My original thought was “the offender of course” and typically, if they know they have made the offense I would say that is true; but then when I look at things a bit longer I realize that it may very well be that sometimes the “victim” may have some responsibility to clean up the mess.  It boils down to this:  the responsibility to restore the relationship falls on the person who WANTS to restore the relationship and to create the space where this can happen.  Sometimes, our offenders do not realize they have dumped their trash in our lap and they then feel offended when the relationship appears to have changed “for no reason.”

It is all a matter of boundaries.   (I recommend the book if you don’t understand what that means)

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.”   – Matthew 18:15

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