Offering the olive branch...is it always the best thing to do


#1

This is a just a general question I’ve been thinking about lately. After a bad fight, the end of a relationship or just a bad experience with someone is it always better to offer the olive branch or just step away. By olive branch I don’t mean forgiveness. I think it’s possible to forgive but not forget. What’s everyone’s take on this…I’m just curious. I tend to just let things go and forgive of course but I’m wondering if maybe we are called to do more?


#2

I think it might be the cruel to be kind aspect of life. There are times when you break up with people socially, professionally and you have to shut, if not slam, the door so both of you can get on with your lives and not get stuck in some loop where the same thing repeats over and over again —*especially when it’s not healthy.


#3

I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer to your question.

If it’s the breakup of a relationship it might be best to just step away. Likewise if it was a friendship or family relationship that deteriorated because of immoral/illegal/harmful activity on the part of the other person.

But if this is an extended family situation where there is simply a misunderstanding or a difference of opinion then it probably is a good idea to offer the olive branch. This would also be the case when you might otherwise let a relationship fall away but to do so would cause considerable hardship to other family members or business contacts.


#4

It really depends on the character of the person you are potentially extending the olive branch to. Some happily grasp the branch; others will just grab it, snap it in half and use the jagged edges to stab you in the back.

Only extend it if you think the person can be trusted or if they are not a person who just seeks conflict – otherwise just forgive them and pray for them but keep yourself at a safe distance.


#5

Agree with the above…some situations are easier to say goodbye and move on than others…depends on the situation…


#6

Forgiveness should be offered freely. Trust needs to be earned.

I think the question centers around if this person has adequately gained your trust for this specific scenario. Extend the branch, withhold it, or extend it part-way and include safeguards to ensure sufficient trust based on (a) if that person has your trust now, and (b) the risks if they betray your kindness.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.