For many Christian singles, having worthwhile relationships of all types is not a luxury but a necessity. In a sense, it is a matter of life and death, but not in the physical sense. The sense of urgency of developing healthy relationships is more about quality of life than it is on physical longevity. So from this perspective of quality of life, it seems ironic that many Christian singles are not willing to do one of the main things that will grow their relationships. That one thing is forgiveness.
One common trait we all share is the fact that none of us are perfect and certainly, we are not perfect all the time. So if we are not perfect and the same is true for those we interact with, then forgiveness is not only desirable but also necessary for our relationships to grow beyond our instances of imperfection.
In my opinion, forgiveness is a function of two things; our trust in God and our level of Godly love.
Our trust in God - When we truly trust God, we are freed to focus not on self-preservation, but on the elevation of others. This is undoubtedly easier said than done. Because when someone we care for offends us, our natural tendency is to personally right that wrong. But for Christian singles, when we take that path of revenge, where does that leave God? Do we expect Him to heap His form of justice on top of the justice we visited upon the offender? Trust in God leads us to put our welfare (physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual) in His hands while we do what we can to uplift others, even those who do us wrong.
Our level of Godly love - Among other traits, self-sacrifice and an outward perspective are indicative of Godly love. When we can deny our self interests and maintain our focus on helping others, we can forgive and yes, even forget. In fact, forgiveness only makes sense in the context of Godly love because the worldly way demands we not forgive and forget. Instead, the temptation is to hurt others more than they hurt us.
But the question before Christian singles is how badly do we want healthy and life-affirming relationships? Unfortunately, many of us choose a morbid sense of satisfaction that we hope will come from harming those that have hurt us. We refuse to let others get away with being mean to us and we also want to send the message that we are not to be messed with. Although we may lose the relationship in an ever growing cycle of hurt and revenge, we take solace in the fact that we got even. Congratulations on taking God out of the equation while building up your own fortress of protection that ends up keeping out the possibility of positive relationships. You have managed to do the spiritual equivalent of throwing out the baby with the bath water!
Kevin Morgan is an author, entrepreneur and publisher. His publishing company, Sowjourn Publishers, markets books that uplift and inspire. To learn more about living a fulfilled life as a Christian single, visit http://www.sowjourn.com or his blog on singleness: http://mooskm.blogspot.com