Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2nd Chances...(and 3rd...and 4th...)

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How many 2nd chances do you give someone when they hurt or disappoint you in some way?  This is quite a tricky question for most people.  There are lots of people who believe there are NO 2nd chances for some sins... basically it comes down to what the offense was that is in question.  I can certainly understand that... and am in no way standing in judgement of anyone's opinion about the matter.  I'm just here to talk about where I come from on all of this... and some of the reasons why.  

I am not perfect.  Ok - so it's out there now.  Seriously - I've made so many mistakes in my life I couldn't even begin to number them or name them all!  I have disappointed people along the way... I have hurt people at times {sometimes too many times!}  And lots of times I have been forgiven... but there are also times that I have not been forgiven.  Relationships {even friendships} have ended.  And that hurt me.  .... so, what have I learned along the way?

Anyone that knows me will hopefully agree that I am a woman of faith... I am a Christian, and my faith hopefully defines who I am and how I live my life.  That being said, there is a lot in the Bible about forgiveness.  Not only MY forgiveness, but about ME forgiving others.  But I'm moving beyond that {even though I don't think there needs to be any other reason for me to believe in 2nd chances....}

Have you ever ended a relationship because someone hurt you?  And not in a case where they had hurt you over and over again and proved they were beyond change... or in an instance where you had seen this was really not a great person to have in your life... but rather because you were just stubborn or prideful {or whatever word you want to use} and you just were NOT going to give that person a 2nd chance to make a fool of you...?  Well... I have done that too!  And, honestly, I have also lived to regret that decision quite often.  Time passed... life continued... hurt dissolved... and I missed my friend.  I missed what I had so easily given up.  Sometimes {and I mean that in a "not so often" kind of sometimes} you can ask forgiveness yourself in such an instance... have another chance at the relationship.  But most often the real damage is done and the relationship is never the same.  This is a very sad thing to happen.  

But back to my admission that I'm NOT perfect... {yes... makes me very uncomfortable to keep coming back to this... but I DO have a point!}  If I have hurt someone... and have seen that I can actually learn from the hurt and disappointment I have brought to someone else and grow into a better person who would NOT do such a thing again... then why can't I believe that someone else is also capable of such change?  Hmmmm.... good question!!

Certainly... there are instances with some people that it's just best to learn a lesson... call it an end.  There are bad people in this world, and when we are shown someone's true colors {and they turn out to be the bad colors} then be thankful for the lesson... and move on.  BUT... when it is a case of someone truly making a bad decision... someone making a mistake or being stupid or whatever you want to call it... Really think about whether you want to lose them for good in your life.  Or whether maybe a 2nd, 3rd or 4th chance is maybe the better decision to make.  The biggest point I'm trying to make in all of this is that you just STOP and THINK.  Please don't let pride or stubbornness play a part in your decision.  Dignity {in this way} is overrated.  I truly believe we can miss out on our greatest relationships because we will not forgive and give someone another chance.  And when you think "they don't deserve another chance..." just think of how it is when it's YOU wanting just one more chance.