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Published on July 5th, 2016 | by Discussion Questions

What do I do when my friend won’t forgive me?





PHILIP WRITES: There is a friend of mine whom I have been really close with and I did something that hurt her feelings. She told me that she does not want to talk to me again ever and she is serious. I apologized to her about the things I said to her, but she has not responded back except to say she is trying to patiently and sincerely tell me that she does not want to speak to me again.

I gave up. I’m not talking to her anymore, but I am wondering what should I pray for? I really want her to talk to me again and treat me like her friend again, but as it looks currently, that won’t be the case. What would be the best situation to pray for about this? How does this tie into forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven you and forgive one another 7 times 70 times? She is close to my heart so this troubles me.


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  • I don’t have a ton if experience in hurting friends or friends hurting me. I would say that you should pray thar God will allow her to see that you truly want reconciliation. Remember though, forgiveness and trust are two very different things. The closer a relationship, the further away someone pulls of they get hurt. It’s human nature. But the closer the relationship the more beautiful the reunion after the parting. Hang in there man! Pray for her, treat her with the upmost respect, and keep trucking. Pray for yourself too, though. If you let yourself be upset at yourself, it won’t help anyone. Forgive and forget on both sides.

  • M. Victoria

    Pray that God will open her heart to forgiveness. If you truly meant it, and asked her forgiveness with love and truth in your heart, than be assured GOD has forgiven you. What she’s doing is a sin. Holding a grudge against a person, is something that God dislike but it’s also something that we don’t like to talk about very often. I have a problem with this, too, but I have to remind myself of all the horrific, disgusting thing that I’ve done against God, yet he still chose to set His love upon me say “Child, your forgiven!”. He didn’t hold it against me but instead chose to graciously remove all those vices that I had. I often ask myself the question ” Why is it so hard for sinners to forgive sinners when the One Who Knew No Sin forgave sinners?” So pray she’ll use Christ as her example for forgiveness and that you both can be restored to a friendship again. Pray that ya’ll would try not to hurt each other with your words and actions.

    Also, even though I have received forgiveness to God and the ones I’ve done wrong, I still find the guilt to be unbearable sometimes. Don’t let it hurt you! A good verse to remember is Luke 7:47,50 “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many , are forgiven – for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little. And he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ … And he said to the woman, your faith has saved you; go in peace.” So, please go in peace, my brother!

    • Hi!, I’ve been a person on the receiving end of getting hurt by those who should have been closest to me. So, I just want to say that there is a big difference in being hurt and holding a grudge, holding a grudge is when you refuse to forget and never let the person forget, even when every attempt to make things right have been made by the person (he needs to give her some time and space) being hurt (I almost never talk about this) is like me having to watch my older brother and sister turn away from God and family so they can be free to do as they please with whom they please. So, my sister can be “adopted” by a rich family that can give her money and things and complete happiness and fit in with the world. Not trying to sound rude or anything but I wanted to point this out. :-)

      God bless,
      Tatiana

      • M. Victoria

        Maybe I should reword the word “grudge” and say unforgiving.

  • Hi Philip,
    I am really sorry this has happened to you. It is really painful to have a friend who won’t forgive you. I had a similar experience except my friend didn’t directly say she would never talk to me again because it was more passive aggressive I guess. But basically I have had little contact with her for a couple years now even though we used to be best friends.
    If you haven’t already, you could make sure that your friend knows that you love and care about her as a sister in Christ and that you will always be there for her if she decides she wants to talk to you again. And then after that just leave it and allow her to make the next move. Sometimes God allows us to see who our true friends are through experiences like this, the ones who are willing to forgive us when we hurt them because all of us will hurt someone or be hurt by someone at some point in our life, if not sooner than later.
    And yes, keep praying for the friend whether things are healed between the two of you or not. That is the beauty about prayer. We can always pray for someone whether they are a friend or not. 😉 Pray for her to know the love of Christ that she may be able to love like Christ and forgive like Christ.
    So I don’t know if that was very helpful for you, but just some things I have thought about through my own experience or things I wish I had done when it happened.

  • Okie Gal

    I don’t have a ton of advice, but I would definitely start by making sure your repentance is real. You need to know if you’ve really sinned (tbh, you probably have) and ask God to make you genuinely sorry.

    After that it gets a little harder. Depending on the situation she might not be able to be around you, even if you’re forgiven. That’s gut-wrenching, but it might not be so unreasonable as you think.

    All that to say, just be humble. She doesn’t owe you forgiveness. Repent, deal with your own sin, and trust God to do what’s best, even if it hurts.

    • KmasterZ

      My advice would be to look at this verse. Luke 6:27 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you.”

      • Okie Gal

        Do you mean advice for Philip, or are you wanting to talk about something I said?

        • KmasterZ

          Either one of you. I think it works for both.

          • Okie Gal

            So, what are you trying to say?

          • KmasterZ

            Even if they won’t forgive you, love them as you would love yourself.

          • Okie Gal

            Okay, got it. I totally agree. Sorry about that, my brain’s pretty dead today.

          • KmasterZ

            So is mine. I did a lot of math today.

    • Dark_Sorrows

      You are wrong. She does owe forgiveness. Read Matthew 18:21-35 if you think otherwise. If his friend refuses to forgive him, then she will be akin to the first debtor in that parable. At some point in her life, she was shown forgiveness, but she is now refusing to forgive someone who was truly repentant. So, here is what she can look forward to. Verse 30 to the end of the chapter. It reads: 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

      31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

      32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

      33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

      34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

      35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

      • Okie Gal

        Hi @dark_sorrows! So, this comment is pretty old and I don’t remember my exact thoughts, but I think I was just concerned with whether or not he had truly repented. I think it’s pretty easy (for me at least) to demand forgiveness without ever addressing the sin. That’s a problem because it ignores the damage done to the other person and doesn’t give them time to heal. (It’s just not loving.)

        As for her needing to forgive, I think that’s a work that the holy spirit will do in her over time. So, for Philip to show her this passage and demand she get over it would only make her madder. And he might be sinning himself, since it would be extremely hard to keep from selfish motives.

        Last thing, depending on the sin, it’s possible that forgiveness will involve consequences. Especially if it’s some kind of abuse, certain boundaries (like not being alone with him, not using private messaging, not touching, ect) might be necessary. Being sinned against is never an excuse to sin back, but it does change things.

        Since I don’t know the situation or people involved, this was the best advice I could give Philip at the time. I mostly talked about repentance because that’s something that he can actually control, and of course, is hugely important for his own walk with God, not just this friendship.

        I hope this helps, and that I didn’t talk your ears off. Thank you for the feedback!

        • Dark_Sorrows

          Hi my friend. Thanks for the reply. yes, before anything can happen, he must be truly repentant. Otherwise, he has missed the whole things. On top of that, he needs to clearly examine his motives and see if he is in fact, truly repentant and not just trying to assuage feelings of terrible guilt. The two can get confused sometimes. If he is in fact, truly repentant and is more than willing to earn her forgiveness, then it is on her. I had a situation years ago where I was never forgiven, and it haunts me to this day. It may haunt me for the remainder of my life. Long story short, I messed up and to be honest, it wasn’t THAT bad. I had sent a friend a text message where I called her an excuse maker. That’s it. It wasn’t right. I apologized. I begged and pleaded for her forgiveness. She refused in 2009. In 2016, she FINALLY told me “eh, I’ve been mad long enough. It’s all good”. That’s what she said, anyway. She is STILL griping to others about what I did. Either she hasn’t forgiven me, or she has taken her forgiveness back. I truly regret sending her that message and have sincerely apologized. I have showed her through my actions how sorry I am. At the end of the day, this is on her. She herself has been forgiven time and again, yet she withholds forgiveness. I’m not the first nor the last person she has refused to forgive. I pray that she wakes up and sees what a dangerous way to live that is. I pray that she sees it before she gets eaten by that same monster, so to speak. Anyway, I digressed there with my own story. But, yes, it all comes down to repentance.

          • Okie Gal

            Hey, I’m so sorry about your friend. It sounds like it really is on her.

            Even with her holding out bitterness, it might be a chance for you to show her what grace looks like. If she’s sinning against you, it’s a really good time to show her forgiveness when she probably doesn’t deserve ito (and might never change). I don’t know if she’s a believer but, as long as you are, this is a great chance to show her the love of Christ. Try to apply that passage to your own heart, and trust God to do what’s best in hers. (Even if that’s confusing, and painful.)

            Again, I don’t know either of you, so I might not be able to give the best advice. You should definitely ask someone in your church, if you get a chance.

            I just prayed for you and your friend, and I will again if/when I think of this.

  • tmselden

    Philip,
    Everyone takes offenses differently. Some are overly sensitive and get their feelings hurt over minor issues and others don’t seem to take offenses as seriously.

    You have to be careful and examine yourself and what your intentions may have been toward this girl. If you have repented–and that doesn’t mean just saying I am sorry–and spoken the offense along with your repentance of it towards her, there is nothing more to be done. The ball then is in her court.

    Give her space and time. Always be thoughtful when in her presence. It is for her to decide to forgive you. Have no expectations on this girl. I would not make it a bigger issue in your life than needs be. She may never let you back in. You need to move on. And learn from it. Be careful of your speech and actions in the future towards others. Your behavior is paramount to your integrity as a Christian and you cannot put a price on that.

    I pray the best for you.

    In Him,
    Mrs. Jean

  • I’m so sorry that this has happened to you. It can be really discouraging to have a friend who remains hurt after you’ve asked forgiveness but time is essential. A lot of times us girls process our emotions more slowly, so when we’ve been hurt it might take a little longer to come to terms with forgiveness than you guys. You just need to give her time and space and pray that God can heal the hurt that you’ve caused. I’ll be praying for you and your friendship to be restored.

  • Michael

    Patience!

    You have asked for forgiveness. You did your best, now let God do the rest.
    Meanwhile, be a good friend. Understand that hurting people usually get angry and have bad attitudes. Be kind and loving, overlooking their faults (1Peter4:8). If your friend needs space, give her space.

    Pray that God guides you through this friendship crisis and trust in God’s sovereignty over even this situation. Also pray that God will help your friend through this. And, again, patience is key. It might take days, weeks, months, or even years for her to forgive you, but never…ever…give up!

    I too have a hurting friend. My heart, like yours, aches for that person to stop hurting. I found myself learning to trust God more in this situation. I still have heart aches, but I trust in God.

  • DanE

    First thing, NEVER GIVE UP. Remember, God never puts you into a situation that is to hard for you. So pray that she will forgive. Pray that you two will be friends again. And pray to God for forgiveness also (if you haven’t already) for sinning. I’ll be praying for you!

  • Kayla

    Just remember God doesn’t put you in a situation you can’t handle. Be patient and explain why you said or did to make your BFF dislike you. If it really bothers you talk to another trusted friend.
    Remember don’t give up! Maybe be patient but don’t give up! I am in a very similar situation right now!

    -Kayla

  • Dark_Sorrows

    Phillip, do we know the same girl? Your situation sounds just like mine! Like you, I had a female friend who I once offended. And like you, I have apologized and she has refused to accept it. She told me that she would NEVER speak to me again under ANY circumstances and there would NEVER come a time when she would not be angry with me. Well, she’s wrong about that. There will come a time when she is no longer mad at me, because nobody lives forever, and one day both her and I will cease to exist on this planet. Like your female friend, she is serious. Very serious. A mutual friend told me that she will “cool off” eventually. Well, it has been nearly eight years since I hurt her feelings. So, she hasn’t cooled off yet. I have prayed about this and prayed about this. I have asked God to help me understand why she is holding a grudge. I asked God to help me understand why the passage of eight years has not helped her come to some sort of mental peace. I screwed up, no doubt about it. But, it was ONE bad text message. I didn’t ax murder her family. And I have sincerely apologized and I have been repentant, if I do say so myself. But, one thing that I think that is going to happen is that both of our former friends are going to end up learning a very hard lesson. What they fail to see is, a person can not be unforgiving and then expect forgiveness for themselves. It is referred to as getting eaten by the very monster that they created. I would rather that that not happen I would rather that unforgiving individuals come to this realization on their own. It is just like Jesus’ parable of the unforgiving debtor. Matthew 18:21-35. That is an awesome that explains in no uncertain terms what happens when we fail to forgive.

  • Dark_Sorrows

    You have done the right thing. If she holds this grudge, then she will be in the wrong.

  • Stephanie MacMillan

    It is your fault. You should have thought before you spoke. With forgiveness, it is just an open door for you to do it again. Losing something teaches people the right way of things.

    • Dark_Sorrows

      You are so stupid!

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