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Let God do his job: He's better at it than you

I'm sure most of us have removed our rose-colored glasses by now when it comes to other people. We know we can't trust everyone we meet. Trust must be earned, not given out carelessly to whomever sounds trustworthy.
Even if we know them for a long time, we might not be able to ensure ourselves they are 100 percent trustworthy. Then there are people who we know we can trust with our deepest, darkest secrets. We all need people like that in our lives.
However, what do we do when someone we thought we knew turns on us? We thought they acted one way, but it turns out they act another way. On the other hand, maybe we never trusted the person in the first place, but they know us well enough to intentionally hurt us. What do we do?
I dare to say that most of the time when people hurt us, they most likely did it without knowing. Unless we tell them to their face, they may never know. Most of the time it is not worth telling them to their face because the infraction is so small and there might be a very good chance they don't even remember.
We hold on to the pain brought on by others, even if they didn't mean to do us any harm. It keeps coming back into our mind like an unwelcome house guest, popping in at the most inconvenient time. While they may not have meant us any harm, the unwelcome thought about the matter sure does.
I've been hurt by people who thought they were trying to help me. Due to my cerebral palsy, some people treated me like I have an intellectual disability. Now this might sound a little weird to those who've never really been around people with disabilities, but those people were not trying to belittle me or demean me in any way. They just don't know me.
One day I talked to a friend, and somehow we got in to the subject of memory. I made the comment that my memory is very good. She said something to the effect that I had a good memory but a low IQ.
I was completely floored. I wasn't sure how to react. I thought she knew me better than to ever think that. I told her I had a normal IQ. From that moment on I wanted nothing to do with her, though she was my friend. It took me a long time, but I forgave her, and I feel bad for my attitude toward her.
Being mad at people is part of what makes us human, but we also must accept the fact that making mistakes is what makes other people human as well. We can't expect people not to make mistakes. That woman I had to forgive, she had a friend with a brother who was intellectually disabled. For all I know that might be the only encounter she had with a disabled individual. Instead of being mad at her, I should have given her grace, told her I had a normal IQ and not gotten angry. I had no right to take it personally.
We need to remind ourselves that we all are children of God. Jesus loves them the same as he loves us, and he died on the cross for them. We want God to forgive us of our sins, but we can't forgive others for their sins against us.
It's a two-way street. We forgive others because God so graciously forgave us. Jesus told us that if we forgive people of their sins, he will forgive us as well. However, he also says if we don't forgive people, he won't forgive us either (Matthew 6:14 and 15). We can't have it both ways. We must give forgiveness in order to receive it from our Father in heaven.
Finally, forgiveness is not the same as saying what happened is OK. It frees oneself from carrying around the anger. I met a woman whose son was killed, and the killer was never apprehended. She forgave, but that doesn't mean if the cops ever find who killed her son they should get off.
God will repay (Deuteronomy 32:35). Don't do God's job for him. He's much better at that than we are. We are only hurting ourselves when we don't forgive. Let God do his job and don't take it in your own hands.

Published: March 12, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180309931