Pursue Peace with The Unforgiving
On the last episode of BrojidStepUp, I explained that before you tag people unforgiving, you should be careful to ensure you are not the hindrance to their forgiveness. Today, I want to a step further in this series, Handling Unforgiving People by sharing with you another insight that will help you. Before I get into that properly, I expect that you should have done everything within your power to ensure that you don’t hinder forgiveness by making it hard for the offended to truly forgive you. Even when this is in place, it doesn’t guarantee that you will be forgiven. That’s why today, I want to share with you how to respond to them.
Many times, when people blatantly refuse to forgive, the temptation is to overlook or disdain the unforgiving person. “Who does he even think he is?” You may wonder in your mind. But I implore you not to fall for that temptation. If the person in question is a person that matters to you, you can’t just lose your relationship due to such recklessness. You have to go the extra mile.
I’d like you to first know that such an unforgiving person is leading a lower kind of life. Maturity helps you realize that you are infallible and you can’t withhold forgiveness from people and expect to get it from others. However, if the unforgiving chooses to lead such a low life, it doesn’t make sense for you to join them.
Another possible reaction to the unforgiving is that you get bitter, angry and even start treating the fellow badly. Don’t met out negative reactions to the unforgiving person. Sometimes, if you are not careful, he/she gets you bitter and frustrated by his ways and that’s something you should not ever allow to happen! Getting bitter with the unforgiving person and his ways won’t change anything. It puts you in the same emotional disadvantage that he is in.
For your information, the unforgiving person is not just angry with you, he has allowed bitterness to grow and mature in his mind such that he is constantly carrying the burden of not forgiving you. When he sees you, he boils and the thought of you invokes bitterness in his heart. If he gets you to become bitter because of his refusal to forgive you, he has succeeded in putting you in such a miserable condition that he is in.
You see, one bad thing about refusal to forgive people is that you suffer the emotional burden of the hurts of the offence and that limits you and eventually get bitter. Getting bitter with the unforgiving puts you in the same situation that he is in and that’s not just unproductive but foolishness.
One more thing you should bear in mind in handling the unforgiving person is that you shouldn’t be quick to quit your relationship with him. My reason is that sometimes the person you call unforgiving is the one who takes time to process his forgiveness. Maybe he is just taking his time before he can come to a state of heart of true forgiveness. Maybe, he was badly hurt and he is taking time to get the hurt healed so that he can totally forgive you.
While you are giving such a person time, ensure that you allow him sufficient time to come to a change of heart. But if the person persists in his ways, you can easily and let him go, knowing that you have done your own bit, by properly asking for forgiveness. Also, you may also find that even if the person chose to forgive you, you can still have a harmonious work or official relationship with them. In that case, stick to what is officially between you and not get overly worried about how he feels about you or think of you after the incidence.
I understand that it’s hard to live in this situation because you will, almost every day, battle with the frustration and annoyance resulting from his unforgiveness, while trying to maintain a good relationship with him. But you have to work on your mind to look at the fellow with pity while focusing on what is required of you in that relationship.
While there are different ways to handle unforgiving people, the safest and best way to approach them is with the attitude of pursuing peace with all men. Pursuing peace with all men is not only a wise way of maintaining meaningful relationship with people until it becomes practically impossible, it is also strategic!
To pursue peace with all men means to do all that is within your power to ensure that the peace that exists between you and people at home, work and even street is sustained. Pursuing peace with all men is not weakness; it’s actually a revelation of the character of strength manifested in swallowing your pride and taking the noble but difficult path!
Pursuing peace with the unforgiving is hard because the other party is working directly against you. He is actually frustrating your efforts. In fact, his stance makes you look like a fool who can’t mind his business. It also makes you look like you are a weakling that is dependent on your good relationship with the other person to live even when you don’t. Notice that I pointed out that these things make you look; the look is not exactly real. That’s why despite all these, you have to put in your best to resist the temptation to give up pursuing peace.
The strongest reason to pursue peace with all men is because it’s pleasing to God. The next is that it’s a strategy to ensure that you exhaust all that is within your power so that even if the relationship eventually breaks down, you won’t suffer the guilt of not trying hard enough to sustain it.
I don’t know the peculiarity of your situation; but I’d like you to take out time and ask yourself what you can do to salvage the peace that is almost lost in your relationship. Some of the things you will discover may not be pleasant to do orare not the natural things you may want to do; but I encourage you to put in your best to do them. I have had to do some of them again and again to maintain relationships I have with people.
Pursuing peace with the unforgiving is not necessarily about the fellow; it’s about living out the higher kind of life. It’s not about the possible attack that the people can hurl at you. After all if God be for you, nobody can be against you! It’s not about what the fellow can do for you or deny you in the future.Promotion does not come from anybody or institution, God brings down one to lift up another!It’s about pleasing God and living out the scripture that says, “As long as it lies in your power, pursue peace with all men.”