11. Wounded By Another’s Fall
When a person has fallen, especially one in a position of leadership or authority, it is often difficult to reconcile with those he has hurt. In my experience, reconciliation is often a misunderstood area of restoration. Reconciliation is not entirely up to the one who sinned. King David lived out his life with some who never would forgive his sins. Allow me to share a few thoughts about this.
Some people are hurt who were not directly affected, but who had their feelings hurt by the person who had fallen. It is almost impossible to reconcile with those people, because their feelings got hurt, even though they were not the ones you specifically sinned against. Oftentimes, the ones who become your worst enemies are people who feel you owe them something because they got their feelings hurt by your sins. I have enemies, who though, I have never personally hurt, feel angry and want me to be punished in the way they feel I deserve.
There are others that refuse your reconciliation attempts. Many years ago I had an attorney who attempted to assist me in reconciliation. There were some people who were gracious in receiving my apologies while there were others who couldn’t possibly accept any overture from me whatsoever. All I could do was my best, but if they had their minds made up, then there was nothing I could do. When someone refuses, we must forgive them and move on.
There’s another group of people that most don’t even realize something exist. Those are people with whom you have made reconciliation, but who for whatever reason still cannot get over it. There are people that I have done my best to be right with and with whom I felt I had mended the relationship, but who became vicious enemies again. No one knows that at one time they had forgiven me and that there was a time of peace between us. However, they allowed the bitterness to build and once again the hatred arose in their hearts. Often that happens because of others, who spew their anger in their ears, and they remove the forgiveness they had once bestowed.
The most important element of reconciliation is realizing that it is impossible for you to control what everyone thinks about you. I had to understand the fact that you never will be able to reconcile with some Christians. That’s sad but it’s true. Many people who have fallen are paralyzed by those who will not forgive them, nor reconcile with them. I fight that at times as well, but I cannot control what another person chooses to do with their God given command to forgive. It is their spiritual battle they are fighting, not my failures. Vengeance is not a Christ like quality. No matter what anyone has done, we have no Biblical right to seek vengeance. If a person thinks that vengeance will heal them, then they are looking for a satanic healing, not a divine one. Divine healing comes from the Holy Spirit regardless of what happens to the other person or even if the other person never repents and asks for forgiveness. Bitterness is not of God. It is sad when people think that if their vengeance is satisfied that they will be healed. Not only will they not be healed but in some cases it may even make it worse because they will discover their anger actually intensifies. When vengeance does not satisfy, it intensifies.
My suggestion to anyone who faces this is, that you go forward and keep your relationship close to the Lord. Ask him to reconcile you with those he knows are willing and whose spirits are forgiving and filled with grace. Let’s face it, many who accuse Christians of legalism and leave the faith are actually abiding under even more intense legalism because they have set a legalistic guideline for what they think should happen to others who have hurt them.