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I recently got hate mail from a boy I knew in college. Ouch! He saw that I was a Christian author now and he was beside himself.   See, he knew me before, back in the day when I lived only for the moment and knew nothing about the power of God to save me from the tyranny of self. He and I were friends who started to think that maybe we wanted to be more than just friends, we dated a bit, but in the end both the friendship and any possibility of more were lost forever.

I read all the things he had to say about me not being anything like Christ, knowing me as he did (decades ago!) And about me being a scam and a fake, I felt bad; bad that I had hurt another person’s heart so terribly that he resented me to this day, and bad that I hadn’t know Christ when I was younger. I often imagine how I could have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache. Living for yourself, your own wants, feelings and choices is bound to leave collateral damage, and that’s a shame.
All of this has reminded me how hard it is to believe, not in the goodness of our fellow man, but in the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, to change us and to make us new creations. (see 2 Corinthians 5:17) Memories are strong things. They are like stains spilled on your mind and they forever color what you think about people and situations. But all of us, including me, could afford to look at life less from the human perspective and more from the divine. My life isn’t different because of what I’ve done, or how I’ve changed but because of who He is and what he’s done to change me. And the same is true for others.
I’m so sorry for all the hearts my pre-redeemed life crushed. I know there were many, because I know the depths of my selfishness, and I ask forgiveness, and pray that they too can know the saving power of Christ and the affect of his generous grace on our lives. In fact, there were one or two hearts after I found Christ that I could have handled more tenderly. Why did I write this post again?!

None of us have to stay the way we were; can you trust in the saving power of Christ to change not only you, but the mean people from your past who have broken your heart or trashed your dreams?

Your turn: how do you deal when someone just can’t forgive you? Is it easier to be the one to say you’re sorry or the person doing the forgiving?

  • Christopher

    Well said Haley. I wonder though… would you be the woman of God you are today without the experiences of your pre-redeemed self?

    It is discomforting and sad to know there are people out there holding on to my past mistakes, unwilling to forgive what He has washed me from. All I can do is be the best example of what a new life in Christ looks like to them, apologize and hope seeds are planted that will one day take root. No amount of what ifs, shoulda or coulda’s I beat myself up with will change the past. The burden of unforgiveness they choose to carry is just that, their burden. Dusting my feet off and moving on is the best thing…

  • Kathy

    I love both your post and Christopher’s too. I recently had a break up and ive apologized in every which way and my ex wont talk to me. Its even harder since we attend the same church and have mutual friends. Ive had to come to the realization that Ive done all that God asks of me to do, and the only thing left to do is to give it all to God. Everytime I think about it, I pick it up again, taking it from God’s hands and He certainly doesnt want that. And like Christopher said, at some point you have to realize its their burden, not yours. Pray though. At first it killed me to pray for my ex, and i didnt want to, but again, its about doing whats right. Now I pray for my ex because I want to do what pleases God; to be outside of my selfishness. Another thing that has been helping me is Luke 9:62. 🙂

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