Friday, April 14, 2017

On Forgiveness: Two Important Things

Two thoughts on forgiveness this Easter weekend: 
1) We only can forgive those who have hurt us. We have no right to claim we forgive anyone who has not hurt us. That is a mockery of the difficulty of forgiveness for those who actually have suffered. 
2) We are commanded to forgive everyone who has hurt us in any way - but there is nothing in that statement that requires we forget. Those are two different things. Forgiving when we can't forget is a deeper form of forgiveness than when we can forget - and, sometimes, forgetting is neither healthy nor appropriate, since it can feed continued hurt by the unrepentant.


MB said...

Excellent points, both of them, well said.

And I have found that I am foolish to believe that it is not possible for me to forgive and moderate my justice-driven outrage until after someone has at least admitted the sin and apologized, if not suffered, for it.

He forgave the soldiers casting lots for His garment and was mindful of their need for divine forgiveness long, long before they began to understand the horrible awfulness of what they had done.

Papa D said...

Excellent point, MB. Thank you for sharing it.

Tom Irvine said...

The principle of forgiveness is multi-layered. Say that someone abuses another. Perhaps the abuser was abused by his own father, who was abused by the grandfather and so on back several generations, as a family curse. So perhaps the first victim in the post effectively needs to forgive several generations including people he has never met.

Papa D said...

So true, Tom.

One of the best things about linking hearts with one's ancestors is what we learn about our own genetic heritage (which can lead to a degree that f self-acceptance and self-understanding). Another is the chance to forgive and try to overcome the "natural (wo)man" passed on generationally.