Question: When Forgiveness Is Rejected

Two anonymous questions:

– I went through a tough process of struggling with God to forgive someone who betrayed me. However after we reconciled he openly admitted to his insidious intentions and that he doesn’t care if I’m hurt. How do I deal with this double back stabbing and betrayal?

– I feel completely betrayed by a close friend of mine. I need to process and talk it over with my mentors and pastors. However, I don’t want to commit the same sin she did by slandering. She openly admitted to deliberately hurting me. Part of me wants to expose who she is, but I know justice belongs to Jesus. How do I start to heal?


I’m really sorry you have to deal with this and I know exactly how it feels.  There have been people that say “I forgive you” to my face only to discover they were lying right through their teeth.  I was also in a nightmare situation where a former friend acted completely remorseful everywhere else, but in private would give me a wink and imply, “I’m winning.”

Please first allow me the grace to point you to some previous posts:

– Betrayal, Forgiveness, Victory

– Praying For Jerks and Worse

– Forgiving Your Dang Parents


The thing is, forgiveness is a messy mucky difficult journey that almost never goes the way we want on either side.  It’s possible that the person who hurt you will never realize what they’ve done — and no amount of persuasion will get them to repent, even if you expose them.

People are self-protective, defensive, complicated, unwilling creatures.  The moment a person feels he or she has done something wrong, suddenly there are a million justifications for why it was necessary.  Everyone has a cover story for their own wrongdoing, which is almost always a lame excuse that wouldn’t hold up two seconds in a courtroom.  But somehow it makes sense inside a person’s tiny self-justifying brain.

You know this because you’ve done it too.

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Quote: Fullness in Glory

Adam and Eve were tricked and they turned away from God and realized they were naked and vulnerable. When we read that, I notice a lot of preachers say, ‘They sinned, they disobeyed!’ — which is true. But the reason why Adam and Eve and everyone else sins is not because we’re doing bad things. Sin causes us to do bad things, sure, but it’s not about the external.

We sin because we have a disconnection, not just disobedience. It’s a disconnection from the only one who can give us love and satisfaction, and ever since Adam and Eve messed up, we’ve been looking for God in things that are not God. We’ve been trying to find wholeness in things that can’t fill us. It’s not so much that our sinful behavior is bad, but it’s a symptom of a much larger problem. We were designed for God’s infinite glory, but we’re now trying to find glory in lesser stuff.

— J.S.