I’m struggling with this. Because I am a very resolute person. A resolutionary*, if you will. And while I know not everyone can excel at being a resolutionary, I still struggle with mustering the compassion to forgive. Especially when someone’s old habit effects me.
My inability to feel compassion and forgive those who have pledged to change stems mainly (but not always) from my interactions with men over the years. And I know I’m not alone when I illustrate a scenario where a woman takes a man back because he’s vowed to change his ways. Or, when a woman decides a man might be worthy of her even though she knows certain unsavory details of his past, only to be proven wrong shortly thereafter.** And yes, I know this isn’t how it always happens. But this is how it has always happened for me. So far.
I’ve recently given up a lot of old habits in a continuing effort to surrender my life to God. And no, it isn’t easy. Despite being a resolutionary. But I’ve found even though I shouldn’t be angry about those past interactions where someone wasn’t quite able to maintain his or her resolve (mainly because the first step to changing is the will to change, or recognizing the need for change), I often can’t help it.
Through my process to surrender, I’ve often pictured myself walking on a balance beam. One misstep could cause me to completely lose my balance. So far, my balance hasn’t faltered. I’ve even knowingly put myself into a situation where I could have easily fallen back into my old habits. Seeing how easy it would have been has put some things into perspective for me. Maybe, instead of being a process, this is a series of slippery stepping stones. Balance is still necessary, but so is careful consideration and preparation before leaping to the next stone and some people simply leap too fast.
*Yes, I know resolutionary isn’t a real word.
**In the interest of being politically correct, please note these scenarios can and do work vice-versa.