Monday, February 27, 2006

Forgiving vs. forgetting

I am the type of person that simply forgets about people should they commit too many wrongs against me or my family, or if I feel they are a threat to my family. I call them poison, and I will always stay away from poison. A few members of my own family have fallen into that category, and while it's definitely sad, they have hurt me repeatedly - why would I continue to associate myself with them? It's like putting your hand on a hot stove - twice. Especially now that I have a child to protect - I'm not going to put my child near the hot stove that's already burned me.

I don't hold grudges, I don't consistently bring up past wrongs, I just don't want to see them. Should I see them, I will act cordial, but there will be no promises of future lunch dates or e-mails. I just don't want them to be a part of my life. I'm not angry with them. I don't hate them. In fact, it's been easy to forgive their previous infractions because I *don't* see them and I'm not constantly reminded of what kind of people they are.

Last year, an old friend fell into this poisonous category, a person I'll call Sam. Sam committed an act so heinous - for, from what I can tell, was the second time - that Sam was placed on my persona-non-grata list.

Sam felt it necessary to post a comment on another person's blog that I am a "pseudo-Christian" because I have chosen to no longer associate with Sam. This gripes me. First, because Sam questioned my faith and secondly because it was cowardly. I didn't even see it until someone pointed it out to me. Sam chose to bring up the things Jesus told the world about forgiveness.

What Sam doesn't understand, based on Sam's past, is that forgiving and forgetting are two entirely different things. I am mandated, by the rules of my faith, to forgive what Sam has done (although Sam's infractions weren't indeed against me, I still don't want to be Sam's friend). I am not mandated to go back to being Sam's friend, and I will not. I am not commanded to be Sam's friend, I am not commanded to like Sam, and I will not.

Sam can think I'm not a Christian all Sam wants, although it certainly bothers me - I don't want to be a stumbling block for another Christian. If Sam looked deeply into Sam's heart, Sam would know that what I have chosen is best for my faith, my family, and my child, since Sam's continuous, unrepentant actions could potentially harm all of those. Sam has chosen instead to justify Sam's actions, causing Sam to hate and malign all those who maintain that those actions were wrong and have also chosen to protect themselves and their families.

I apologize for the number of Sams in this post. I'd rather keep Sam's identity a secret, including gender.

I apologize for the passive-aggressiveness of this entire post, but I'd rather get this out into the world than e-mail Sam, because no contact is the best contact.

1 comment:

cncz said...

I get the "you're not Muslim enough for not wanting to associate with sociopaths from "Muslims" myself (and even this ho-ish non Muslim who thinks she decides how Muslim I should be"). I think it is a humanity thing, and it sucks.
I am all for forgiving and forgetting myself; what irks me is when people don't understand why I don't want to be their friend.