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Guilty Until Proven Innocent

When it comes to relationships, have you ever felt like you were serving a life sentence for a misdemeanor that should have only resulted in probation? What do you do? Do you just accept the verdict or do you fight for your innocence?

There are many inmates serving time for crimes they didn’t commit. Whether it was a court appointed attorney that didn’t serve them well, or the greater judicial system that, because of racial/social economic biases, found them guilty until proven innocent without the opportunity for a fair trial.

I would argue there are definite similarities between the judicial system and relationships… though I know I’m walking on a skinny branch by drawing this parallel and furthering the “ball and chain” idea. That said, I ask that you hear me out on this one.

Often in relationships, you make a mistake and the punishment never seems to fit the crime. No matter what you do, the other person is just not willing to forgive you and move on. You are officially in a “no win” situation… Guilty until proven innocent!

Frankly, many women have told me they expect to be disappointed by guys in relationships. In fact, it’s never a matter of “if” but “when”. Typically this is the result of pain from previous relationships when a guy disrespected them, didn’t live up to the promises made, constantly disappointed them and fell short on their expectations. After being disappointed so often, women simply become jaded and expect the next guy to be no different than the last five guys that hurt them. Because the last guy has moved on and there are still unresolved issues, the next guy to come along unfortunately has to pay the price.

Now to be fair, men have the same issues and frankly misappropriate their pain to unsuspecting and undeserving people in their lives… new woman in his life, children, family, co-workers, kid’s soccer coach, the guy at the stoplight, etc.

We often spend our lives hurting other people because we were hurt and never forgave the person that caused the pain. In other words, we never enjoy Agape love (which is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love and the highest of the four types of love in the Bible) because our hearts are too hardened to forgive others and allow people into our hearts again without conditions. And when we don’t forgive, the person that hurt us still has the victory over our happiness and ultimately our spirit.

There is power and healing in forgiveness! First, we must forgive ourselves so that we can forgive others.

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