Hello everyone. I want to talk today about grace, love and trust. My thoughts today will be directed toward those who have repented of wrong-doing and are actively working to change their lives and their relationships. I will also include some wise words for loved ones who are also on this journey with you as well as for those who have not chosen to repent yet. Loved ones of those who have repented, are repenting and actively changing their lives, these thoughts are for you. Grace, love, and trust are essential for good, healthy relationships. Both grace and forgiveness were freely given to us by Jesus so we in turn should freely give them to those who are doing things differently in their lives, no matter what “differently” looks like. We must give people grace and space to change. Trust once broken however, must be rebuilt; it does not come automatically and should not be expected automatically. You may have some people in your lives who want you to trust them and they have proven that they could not be trusted in the past. Granted, these people who want this trust from you may have repented and are actively changing but it is unwise of them to expect you to trust too soon. When a person repents and chooses to live differently there will be fruit that comes with that change of heart. The fruit of repentance is a process of time and will be consistent. Some of you may need to have some distance from your loved ones until you see change (fruit) and that fruit (change) is consistent. Allow Jesus to direct you where distance is concerned, distance protects you and your heart. Afterall, light can have no fellowship with darkness and someone who is still actively participating with darkness is not going to grow the fruit of repentance. They may also harm you again. The fruit of repentance over time builds trust. Without the fruit of repentance, there can be no trust. You are basically buying a pig in a poke so to speak. Without true repentance and heart change, you don’t know what you will get. You can give all the grace and forgiveness you want but if the other person does not repent, they are throwing your grace into the mud.
Forgiveness is for your mental, physical and spiritual health; it is never about the other person. I would encourage those of you walking this road with someone who is turning their life around to look for and encourage them in their process of growing the fruit of repentance and to allow trust to build over time as you see consistent change in their lives. For those who have loved ones who have not repented and are still walking with darkness, keep praying, lean on Jesus and maintain healthy boundaries and distance as needed.
For those of you who have repented and are repenting, these thoughts are for you. I believe many of you misunderstand the love, grace trust dynamic, not because you don’t love the people who are walking this journey with you, but because this is all new to you. Stay with me. Many of you expect instant trust when you have repented. A good question to ask yourself if you are in the process of growing the fruit of repentance is this: would I immediately trust someone else who had done said same thing to me? I bet the answer would be no. Then I ask you, why do you expect your loved ones to immediately trust you as if they had no reason to not trust you in the first place? Are you following me here? Just as your repentance and the fruit of your repentance is a process of change and growth, so are other people’s ability to trust you again – trust is a process of little steps for them just as the fruit of repentance is for you. Just because they don’t trust you immediately does not mean they don’t love you or that they are “through with you.” What is does mean is they need time to get to know the new you. Remember, they spent a lot of time with the old you and it wasn’t good for them or you. You spent a lot of time giving them reasons not to trust you before. Now you have a wonderful opportunity to give them reason to trust you again. Give them grace and space to learn to trust you again. Just as they are walking with you in your process of change, walk with them in their process of trusting you again. For anyone reading this blog who has chosen not to repent or change, but also wonders why people keep leaving you, I ask you; would you leave you? Would you put up with your evil? I bet the answers are yes to the first question and no to the second question. Good can't walk with evil. You can't expect people to be okay with you harming them repeatedly or making them question their trust in you without consequences. I bet whatever or whomever influences you didn't tell you that part, did they? They did not tell you how lonely you would be and how lost. They did not tell you that you would lose friends, family, your reputation and possibly your life. While you live, you can change and be free of evil. You can repent and change your direction. You can heal! You still have time. I believe you can, even though you don't know me. There is still a God who knows you and He loves you. Run to Him! Trust, grace and love are essential to make relationships work. Trust protects everyone in the relationship. Without it, you can’t have a healthy relationship. Grace and love are free, trust is a process once broken. Walk out your process, no matter which side of it you are on, and let Jesus walk it with you. He redeems all things, even trust, and he has more than enough grace and love to go around for us all. Love, Elizabeth