Monday, July 5, 2010

What Cannot Be Undone...Can Be Undone

We have all been in situations where we cause some emotional pain to another. It's sometimes an unavoidable situation, but one that happens nonetheless. I have been on both ends of such situations and I would like to offer some uncommon wisdom.

In two different, specific types of situations, unrequited relationships and friendships. I was in a relationship a couple years ago. Something went wrong in the relationship and she broke it off with me. I was pretty heartbroken, but more than anything, I wanted answers. I had several points I wanted to raise and I needed clarification and closure. Long story short, the female in question snubbed me. She refused to answer my texts/calls and she refused to tell me anything honest about why she felt she should end it. We were both confessed Christians. On the surface, I'm sure this sounds typical and not very dire. But I'm not an on the surface kind of guy. Anyone who knows me can testify to that.

What probably should have been a month or two's worth of pain became about a year and a half's worth. Much of that time, I questioned why God would let someone abandon another person the way I was abandoned. I felt cheated. Very cheated. I felt that whatever wrong she had done inside the relationship could not compare to what she did outside of it. I teetered on the verge of collapse. I often questioned whether or not God really existed or if He was more of a state of mind in the hearts of His followers. Now, to the point. As a human being, let alone, as a Christian, I believe we have, not just a moral obligation, but also a humane obligation to attempt to undo any pain we cause another. Whatever cannot be undone, at least, must be explained.

I've often made this clear to people, and as we often do, they make excuses for why they did not leave an acceptable end. There is, as many of us know, no acceptable reason to cause another pain. What cannot be accepted can usually be explained. What cannot be explained can be cured by compassion. When each of those fails, there is nothing left to assume, except some form of embarrassment, or a lack of compassion. Again, NEITHER of those is acceptable. If something we had done had led someone to suicide, or we had not taken the chance to explain ourselves and the person had met some untimely end, we would be left with the remorse.

And what is the point of this? To wipe your slate as clean as possible before you are called to judgment. Ideally, there should be very little of what we do in this life affecting the judgment upon us. As we know, this is impossible, but a large part of the idea of Christianity is atonement and forgiveness. We cannot be forgiven by people if we don't ask. If we are not forgiven, we miss an opportunity for the offender or the offended to experience a large part of who God is. God is love, God is forgiveness, and God always gives us the chance to repent.

As people, as the people of The Most High God, we should be reflecting that love, that forgiveness, and that repentance. As with any other situation, we will screw up. We will hurt someone. And we will have to answer for it. But do we have to go into judgment with another wounded soul on our heads? That's the question. If you were the offender, could you truly live with knowing you caused someone else considerable emotional pain?

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