Question:

I've been involved in a campus ministry, and I recently hurt a few of my sisters. I said something inappropriate about them that shouldn't have been said. I asked for forgiveness and one of them forgave me; however, she doesn't feel comfortable around me. The other one, who was a good friend of mine, doesn't want to talk to me at all. Its been almost two months since everything happened. How can I love them and show I really care? Could any trust be regained? Should I give them space? Thank you!


Answer:

The only thing you can do is show your change by your improved behavior. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

You apologized and told them you repented. Now it is up to them to forgive. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matthew 6:14-15). While forgiveness is commanded by Christ, you cannot force someone to forgive. They have to choose to do so. But whether they are obedient to Christ or not does not affect your salvation.

Meanwhile, their bad behavior does not mean you treat them in the same way. "If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:18-21).