DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My business is probably going to collapse because I unwisely took in a partner who ended up cheating me. He doesn’t deny it, but he says that since I’m a Christian I should forgive him instead of taking him to court. Is he right? — D.C.
DEAR D.C.: No, from what you say he is not right. He’s only trying to manipulate you and take advantage of you, just as he has done in the past. Apparently he has no real regret over what he has done, and it would be wrong for your business to be destroyed while he suffers no consequences.
It’s true that the Bible urges us to be forgiving toward those who’ve taken advantage of us. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15). However, forgiveness doesn’t mean we ignore wrongdoing, nor does it mean we must overlook something that’s clearly illegal. One of the responsibilities of Israel’s kings was “to maintain justice and righteousness” (1 Kings 10:9).
Pray that God will convict this person of his sins, particularly the sins of greed and deception. Most of all, pray that he will commit his life to Jesus Christ. His greatest need is to discover God’s forgiveness, which is possible only because Jesus Christ paid for it at the cost of his own life.
As a footnote, ask God to help you learn from this experience. Don’t be cynical, but do learn to be cautious. In addition, ask God to help you be an example to others of his wisdom and grace, both in your business and your personal life. The Bible says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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