Been reading the book Forgive and Love Again: Healing Wounded Relationships by John Nieder and Thomas M. Thompson. I picked it up at the Pittsburgh airport when flying home from West Virginia. It's actually a really good book. (I personally recommend it.)
Anyway, there's some passages that really leapt out at me.
"Those of us who give our lives to the ministry of God's Word soon discover that we either learn to forgive or lose our spiritual sanity. The ministry is rewarding but also very painful. One of the biggest problems is a lack of loyalty. I have been knifed in the back more times that I care to remember" (pg. 83).
They later write about Corrie Ten Boom and quote something she wrote. Corrie recounts talking with a friend about some other friends who hurt her many years before:
"It is nothing," I said a little smugly. "It is all forgiven."
"(W)hat about them? have they accepted your forgiveness?" (the friend asked).
"They say there is nothing to forgive! They deny it ever happened. No matter what they say, though, I can prove they were wrong." I went eagerly to my desk. "See, I have it in black and white! I saved all their letters and I can show you where..."
"Corrie!" My friend slipped his arm through mine and gently closed the drawer. "Aren't you the one whose sins are at the bottom of the sea? Yet are the sins of your friends etched in black and white?"
For an astonishing moment I could not find my voice. "Lord Jesus," I whispered at last, "who takes all my sins away, forgive me for preserving all these years the evidence against others! Give me grace to burn all the blacks and whites as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to your glory" (pg. 88).
I know both sides of the debacle have preserved much online evidence. Now I wonder if I should keep what I have. I have an e-mail folder of e-mails to and from K. Perhaps I should destroy it. I just know that this passage hit me when I read it. How are my electronic copies any different from Corrie's black and whites?
There's much more. I am underlining something on almost every page.
Brian says I shouldn't destroy anything because I can still be hurt and would have nothing to defend myself with. He has a point. So for now I will hold on to it, but will not use it unless they use what they have against me first. Perhaps in a few years I will not have my movements tracked around the Net and I will be able to destroy everything. He suggested printing the folder out, and placing everything on my altar with a cross over it to remind myself that it's in God's hands. I wonder what K will do with what she has, but God tells me that is not my business. He tells me what He told Peter: "What is that to you? Follow thou Me" (John 21:22).
It still comes down to trust. You'd think after eight years I could trust God with a silly thing like this. Quoting from the book again:
"...we are to forgive and leave judgement to God. When we forgive we do so before God as an act of obedience and an expression of our trust in Him as judge" (pg. 82).