Unforgiveness or Moving On?
There are times when I struggle with the word forgiveness. Not so much as whether I have the ability to forgive someone in terms of pardoning a sin. Lord knows we all have them and each of us take our turns needing grace from someone. What I question is the true definition of forgiveness and whether restoration has to be a part of the process for forgiveness to be legit or complete. As I get older, I question my old way of thinking and tend to think not.
As an example there was a friend of mine who I have been cool with for almost 20 years. We’ve shared many stories of joy and pain and have been there for one another throughout both good and difficult times. Well I going through something last year and I shared it with this person. My car had some major engine damage and I was scrambling to come up with the several thousand dollars to have it fixed. I needed the car for transportation for working both my 9-5 as well as my officiating jobs that I already had lined up.
Speaking with him about the situation, he said, “I am so sorry to hear about your car.” I said that I appreciated it and just to let it be known I am taking donations. He thought I was joking but I clarified my desperation.
Mind you… I have NEVER asked this person for a dime. Neither had I ever asked my mother since I left her home at the age of 14. But I did this time. This person asked me what my car payment was (monthly). I gave the amount and he said they would help me out with one month’s payment. “Great, !” I said as I voiced my appreciation.
He gave me a date and I said Ok. The date passed and I didn’t hear anything. I called and didn’t get an answer. After a week I received a call from this person saying he was out of town and didn’t have a chance to go to the bank but that the money was forthcoming within a day. I said that was fine.
After another week I called again, not for the money just to see if he were OK. Still didn’t get an answer.
The next time I called the person answered the phone… perhaps by mistake and I could him him talking to someone else.
I hung up the phone.
Later I sent an email to the person letting him know that I was really hurt. Not because of the money because anyone has the right to do with their money as they please even if they say they are going to do one thing and later change their mind. But to not say anything and avoid me? I thought we were way better than that. I put it behind me and left it alone.
Well after 8 or 9 months, I get a text from this person saying, “Hey.” I looked at it, remembered the number (because I had previously deleted it out of my phone) and thought to myself, “Hey what?” My initial thought was that we didn’t have anything to talk about. I didn’t see any explanations or apologies for the times I was calling and didn’t get an answer. I just erased it and kept on stepping.
Now here are the questions I have to ask myself when I try to identify the forgiveness thing.
Question: Am I upset at this person? Am I holding this against him?
Answer: I honestly don’t believe I am. I managed to get my car fixed and I have moved on. I regretted that the friendship couldn’t handle the topic of money and though the subject never came up between us before, the only reason I asked was because I felt we were ‘cool like that.’ That was a sign of deep humility and respect for me to even think of asking this person because I don’t just ask anybody for anything.
Question: What is my reluctance from speaking to this person stemming from?
Answer: I believe it’s stems from the fact that I thought we were cool. And regardless of money, even if the person were a millionaire, I would not have felt he was obligated to give me anything. But the fact that he promised something and avoided me as if I were a pesky beggar made me question the entire friendship. My thinking is, “Where would we pick up from here? If we ain’t soul after almost 20 years, I can’t see it materializing now.”
When it comes to my inner circle, I am fiercely loyal. And when that loyalty is not returned as opposed to rolling over like I did back in the day for the sake of being what I believed was Christian about it, I’ve had a change of heart. Now when folks cross me a certain way, I just tend to be done with them. Not cause I’m mad, but because I just don’t have time to pretend that a close friendships is anything but superficial if that is all it really is. Everyone has superficial people in their lives. And with these folks we don’t expect much. But a friend is supposed to be a friend.
I had some beef with another friend of mine for a minute. And because we were boys for real, we eventually had our say man to man and hashed the stuff out. I consider him an even better friend now. We got through a big storm where feelings were hurt on both sides. We learned that our loyalty was strong even when we didn’t think it was. I say that to say this is not about X’ing people out of my life just because I feel like it. As I said I value my inner circle.
So what do you think? Am I being too cold in this situation? Am I holding a grudge? Should I have responded to this person and perhaps he would have apologized? (From what I know of this person, I don’t think he would have said anything about it. I think he just wanted to pretend like it was all good though I could be wrong) This is my dillema. The old way of thinking for me would be the quickly accept this person back into my good graces. The older, wiser me (in my opinion) says, F it! No hard feelings on my part, but like Mint Condition, “We’ve Nothing Left To Say.”