Today June Hunt discusses the prerequisites for restored relationships as part of the fourth stage of forgiveness.
Stage Four: Find Oneness. In his book A Minute of Margin, author and physician Richard Swenson said:
“It is not revenge that heals. It is not litigation, or time, or distance that heals. It is forgiveness and- when possible- reconciliation that bring wholeness.”
Ms. Hunt adds that restoration of a damaged relationship can occur when both parties commit to honesty in the relationship. June uses the acrostic H-O-N-E-S-T-Y to demonstrate the elements involved in this process:
Honestly evaluate yourself and your relationship. By evaluation your own weaknesses as well as the weaknesses in your relationship, you will identify where change needs to take place.
Open your heart and share your pain. Candidly address the offense and fully explain to your wounder how the wounding made you feel.
Notice whether your offender takes responsibility. If your offender ignores the arrow in your heart and refuses to be accountable, he/she is not ready for reconciliation. Your offender must demonstrate godly sorrow for your inflicted pain.
Expect your offender to be completely truthful. Discern whether your offender is sincere and truthful. Establish safeguards regarding honesty, support, and loyalty within your relationship.
Set appropriate boundaries for the relationship. You need to be disciplined enough to hold your offender accountable for respecting relationship boundaries. Your offender must be disciplined enough to stop crossing those established boundaries.
Take time, cautiously think, and sincerely pray before you let your offender all the way back into your heart. Trust is earned, not given. Your offender must demonstrate integrity and consistency.
Yield your heart to starting over. June succinctly states: “You are no longer bound by what has been, but by what can be.”
Today’s question: Which of the prerequisites for restored relationships are most meaningful to you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: the Easter Short Meditation, “Thanks be to God”