I was talking to a lady the other day. She was talking about some struggles she was having with her relationship with her husband. It was a typical problem, as common as green grass on a rainy day. Yet still painful, for each problem, no matter how common…. is still lived out one person, or couple, or family, at a time. As she was talking I could see that forgiveness on her part was growing. They were still in relationship, and now are living together as a married couple again, but there is still something she is holding back. It is of course trust, something we can bestow on one another, but when broken, well, the effect can be devastating. What she felt and experienced with that betrayal of trust is not yet understood by the husband and until that is seen by him and understood in all of its shock and pain, the relationship may not be able to move on. To be able to trust can be very freeing, but the betrayal can cause deep wounds that will have an affect on ones whole life. Trust is in the end a conscious choice, especially after one has experienced a failed relationship over trust issues.
Mercy and forgiveness is good to give because it can be freeing. The one forgiven, or shown mercy to however, if the offense is not understood on some deep level, then it will only be one sided. To receive mercy is a great shock to ones self image, hopefully a healthy one, leading to a reestablishment of trust and love. I believe we are all capable of betrayal, and when that happens we often seek mercy, we desire it, and hopefully we can extend it to others as well. Mercy does not always reestablish trust, it is a gift, something free, it can’t be demanded and when it is lost, painful as that can be, it may at times be wise not to extend it again, or to expect it if guilty of betrayal.