Can We Forgive A Person That Commits A Despicable Act?

In the past few months, countless acts of sexual misconduct from men in power have come to light in the public eye. Unfortunately for many women, the recent stories of sexual harassment are all too familiar and we can only hope that the brave women stepping forward are making an impactful and lasting change in our society.

In the most recent news, “Today” News Anchor Matt Lauer was accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace and was abruptly let go from NBC.

As Savannah Guthrie, NBC “Today” Co-Host, reported the story on air, it was evident how heartbreaking it was for her to reconcile with the news of her friend and co-worker that had just been accused of such despicable acts.

“He is my dear, dear friend and my partner. And he is beloved by many, many people here.” She followed her statements with a question that many others might be asking themselves, “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”

— Savannah Guthrie, on the firing of Matt Lauer

The answer is forgiveness.

If you have a partner, friend, coworker or family member that has done something to hurt you, it is possible to forgive them. It could be cheating, lying or harassment, but you are still able and allowed to forgive. As you grapple with your feelings of love and hurt towards that person, you can find peace by choosing to forgive.

It’s important to remember though, forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning hurtful behaviors or condemnable acts. Just as the many men in the media are facing the consequences of their abuse towards women, anyone that commits a despicable act is not free from justice even if they are forgiven.

As justice is served, you can still forgive someone for a hurtful act. You can continue to believe in their good qualities and chose to love and support them as they learn and grow from their poor behaviors. The conflicting emotions you may have as you choose to forgive this person are completely normal, but forgiveness is ultimately the answer to moving forward, growing and evolving.

REMEMBER: It is ok to set boundaries while you heal from the betrayal of trust and the person gets the help they need.

These icky situations give us the opportunity to reflect on our own actions as well. What can we do to make sure that stories are heard from both sides? How can we sympathize with those who have been wronged and also forgive the ones who have done the wrong-doing? What are your thoughts? Let’s create a larger dialogue here by leaving comments below.

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