Lessons Learned from Ending Past Relationships and The Struggle to Obtain Forgiveness

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When transitioning into Christianity as an adult by his own volition, B, unfortunately, was coerced and encouraged into cutting a lot of people off.  B would lose contact with family, immediate and extended, and even friends, old and recent.  During the tumultuous time as an early Christian, B had no one to turn too, save the few people that were involved within the situation that B, too, was in.  None of them knew each other personally, and were “recruited” by this seemingly loving and stable organization.  They were all young adults, just starting out in life, all wanting to honestly and earnestly, wholeheartedly, follow the Lord.  It is difficult living in a brand-new environment, where you know no one personally, wondering what the people among you are capable of.

 

Due to B cutting many people off, during that time, and even subsequently for reasons stated above and others, B found himself going back to some of these people.  Family, immediate and extended, is who B would go back to first.  Trying to explain something that you can only compare to the Branch Davidians [1], or Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple [2], is very difficult when the people you are discussing this with have never experienced this kind of world.  Nevertheless, many of them forgave B.  Others refused to believe his story and often stated that he was either gullible, weak-minded, or just crazy.

 

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David Koresh

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Jim Jones

 

B would later apologize to the friends that he had leading up to joining the organization.  It was many years later.  They all seemed forgiving.  Some of them were quite hurt that B could do such a thing.  Telling them that he wasn’t in his right mind, and some of them even coming to that realization on their own, wasn’t an easy thing to do.

 

Over the years, B had begun to realize many things.  He had learned a great deal from his past.  Not everyone is allowed a second chance.  A second chance isn’t even guaranteed.  No one owes you forgiveness.  While you may even receive that forgiveness, you would be wise to not expect things to pick up where they left off.  B became aware that when you hurt someone, you don’t have a right to allowed into their heart, space, or anything concerning them.  Forgiveness is not to be taken lightly.  One has to learn how to forgive.  One has to also learn how to be forgiven.  Loving someone, trusting someone, automatically causes one to be vulnerable.  It’s not easy being vulnerable.  Especially when your trust and loyalty has been compromised a few times.  We must be careful who we allow in and be open to know that we will be hurt.  It’s how we handle it that will make us the bigger person.

 

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[1] member of an offshoot group of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Church that made headlines on February 28, 1993, when its Mount Carmel headquarters near Waco, Texas, was raided by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF); four federal agents were killed in the assault. A lengthy standoff between the group and government agents then followed. It ended on April 19, after some 80 members of the group, including their leader David Koresh, died when the Mount Carmel complex was burned to the ground following an attempted entrance by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. (Melton, 2013)

 

[2] Jim Jones, byname of James Warren Jones (born May 13, 1931, Crete, near Lynn, Indiana, U.S.—died November 18, 1978, Jonestown, Guyana), American cult leader who promised his followers a utopia in the jungles of South America after proclaiming himself messiah of the Peoples Temple, a San Francisco-based evangelist group. He ultimately led his followers into a mass suicide, which left more than 900 dead and came to be known as the Jonestown Massacre (November 18, 1978). (Britannica, 2016)

References

Britannica, T. E. (2016, December 22). Jim Jones. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica : https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jim-Jones
Melton, J. G. (2013, July 29). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from Branch Davidian: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Branch-Davidian

 

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