There are people in my life that take advantage of me. They take advantage of my kindness and my forgiving heart. These same people expect chance after chance after chance … while they are repeat offenders … and yet, I try to be forgiving just as Christ is forgiving of me when I fail and fall short. The problem I have is as a Christian I’m supposed to turn the other cheek. My question then is, how many times am I supposed to turn it for it to be slapped repeatedly?
I’m sure the question will and has been asked, “Why do you allow this individual to continue hurting you?” or “Why do you believe in someone who has already shown you who they are?”
Those are not easy questions to answer.
You see, I’m not putting myself out there to get hurt. I’m not doing this hoping that they will hurt me. No, just the opposite. I hold out hope each time that it will be different. That there won’t be any more lies, deceit or betrayal. It is only because of the love I have in my heart for the person that allows me to hold on and hold out hope.
I try to see the good in people, and even though they have mistreated me in the past or done things that were not right, I know deep down inside that they are not completely evil. They don’t have a black heart, and they aren’t rotten to the core. I know this because I have seen the side that I’ve longed to get back. The kind, considerate, loving, compassionate individual … and I have also seen that person disappear and an angry person with no conscience emerges and does things that are shameful, degrading, and shows that they lack morals, values, and integrity. While they may not stay in this frame of mind or state the entire time, they go back, almost like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde. It happens without warning. Then all of a sudden, this person is back and you’re trying to figure out what triggered it. What set it off? And how long will it last THIS time?
The thing is, this person is not honest with you as to why they changed back. And, even if they were honest, they have told so many lies and have withheld information that was later discovered, that the vast majority doubts what is being said.
It is sad really.
My daddy always said, “You’re only as good as your word.”
This person’s word means nothing at this point. From when they are caught in a lie and they say, “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” when you ask them something point blank, both are dead giveaways of yet another lie. More deceit. More betrayal. And, here is something gut wrenching. You can’t even believe when they say, “I love you.” Sure, these are nice words, yet their actions scream something to the contrary.
It happens almost every time, too. They either talk down to you like you’re crazy, they make light of the situation and your feelings, OR they get defensive and anger emerges. Are they angry that they got busted once again? Are they angry that they were found out once more? Here is something they fail to realize: Nothing that is done in darkness will stay hidden. It will be revealed in God’s time. He will shine the brightest light upon it.
If I have anything to offer at this point, it is to any one out there reading this that may not be who they should be … change! You CAN make a complete change. You don’t have to be that person any more. Ask Jesus to help you, and I promise you that He will. While it won’t be an over night, immediate change, He will help convict you and change your ways. Then, when you feel tempted again to act the way you did before or do the things you once did, God will be right there speaking to you letting you know that it isn’t a good idea and it doesn’t have to be this way. If you repent of your sins and confess them with your mouth, you have to TURN from them! You cannot confess and repent while still doing these things! That is not true repentance. That is not wanting to change with your whole heart.
If you have done something that you know is not right, you have to fully disclose everything to the person you have hurt. You cannot give a little information here, a little there, and later on down the road confess to more. That only prolongs the hurt and the healing process. If someone has found it in their hearts to forgive you after you’ve lied, cheated, deceived them and betrayed them, and they have slowly started to heal, you throw them completely right back where they were when they first discovered your wrongdoings. You make it ten times harder for them as you’ve ripped that scab completely off of their wound, and it is oozing blood at this point. They are unable to stop the bleeding. It pours out of the wound, and the cut feels deeper now with each newly found betrayal or newly confessed indiscretion.
Be a person of your word.
Here’s a tidbit for you. Withholding information is also a form of deceit and betraying the one you claim to love.
Be an honorable person.
And … treat others the way you want to be treated. If you would not want someone to do this to YOU, then WHY are you doing it to THEM? Why is it okay if YOU do it … yet if they did something exactly like this to you, you would run from them so fast and never look back. You wouldn’t have such a forgiving heart, and you wouldn’t accept them back for doing the exact same thing that you, yourself, have done. Take for example a person that has committed adultery. IF your spouse had done this to YOU, would you be as forgiving as you expect them to be? That is a hard one, isn’t it? But, if it’s okay for YOU to do it and later be forgiven of, why is it not okay for your spouse to do the same exact thing? Why then would you NOT forgive your spouse for committing adultery if you, yourself, have done it to them! Here’s another tidbit: Cheating isn’t always just in the physical form. Even though you haven’t physically slept with someone, if you have thought about it in your mind the bible tells us that you have already committed adultery in your heart with this person. Keep that in mind. Also, if you have to delete text messages, emails, etc. so they can’t be seen, you are already there, and that is also considered cheating!
Recently, I became a mirror to the person that was mistreating me. When they talked to me ugly in the past, I would try my best not to go back at them the same way. Seeing as how that did not work, recently I gave them exactly what they gave me. If they were mean to me, I was mean back. If they ranted, I ranted back. If they had a harsh tone, I had a harsh tone back. And you know what? They had the nerve to ask ME why I was doing this to THEM! I quickly pointed out that I was mirroring them and that if they did not like it, they needed to stop doing this TO ME! I was a reflection of THEM at that point. Some times that is what it takes for the offender to stop dead in their tracks!
I pray for this individual. I have turned this individual over to God because I am not in control of this individual nor what they do. I am only in control of myself, what I will tolerate, and how I will choose to respond. This person is in God’s hands now.
If you have someone in your life that is a repeat offender, you can’t handle this one on your own. Ask God to help you, and I promise you … HE WILL! Turn this person over to God and allow God to work in their hearts and lives. Know that you have done all that you can do, and now it is up to God. You can’t save people from themselves, their mistakes, or their poor choices. Do not make yourself miserable any more trying. They are responsible for their actions, and they must face the consequences whether they like it or not.
This is my advice and words to live by.
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