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« Respect and Servant Leadership | Main | The Church Cluetrain Conversation »

March 30, 2005


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I really needed your posting today... it was powerful and right on time... I think too that sometimes, toxic people need to be dealt with immediately, surgically, and unhesitatingly.

Your comments about 'giving in' is what has been eating at my heart the last couple of days with a certain EGR (extra grace required) person. I struggle with 'taking one for Jesus' and punching this person in the throat...

I know, I know... anger problem... ;) just wanted to say thanks...


What to do? Read "THE HIDING PLACE" by Corrie Ten Boom. She teaches how to forgive when everything inside you screams against it. Forgiveness IS NOT a FEELING~IT'S A CHOICE! Choose to forgive, and hold God responsible to align your emotions to the CHOICE of your WILL. It's worked for me, ever since I learned it. Trust me, God doesnt command something that HE doesnt give the power to do.


Lewis Smedes (Forget & Forget) notes that in order to forgive someone, you most hold them accountable for the wrong done -- in other words, forgiving is NOT excusing or minimizing. Forgiveness is a grace from God that one can pray for and open to, but cannot force (see Corrie Ten Boon's biography describing our she forgave her SS guard.) Giving in or appeasing a hurtful person, or pretending that everything is alright when it most certainly is not, is codependence, not forgiveness. Sadly, we often interpret "turn the other cheek" as an admonition from Jesus to be a doormat. See Walter Wink for a potent alternative exegesis of that passage. Perhaps coming to terms with toxic people can also be a catalyst for theological reflection on the distinction between forgiveness and reconciliation. On the cross, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing," absent any signs of repentance, yet clearly repentance is necessary for a right relationship with God, and it is no different with one another. We can forgive a toxic person and refuse to be involved with them. Forgiveness takes one; reconciliation takes two.

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