Thought for the Day: The other night in our Choir Zoom we talked about forgiveness, and this got me to thinking about that strange and difficult topic. In C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity he calls it a “terrible duty,” and gives the even more horrific example “I wonder how you would feel about forgiving the Gestapo if you were a Pole or Jew.”
This got me to thinking – Christ was taken, ridiculed, scourged, mocked, and ultimately executed, and then turned around and forgave and loved those that did it?
That’s a heck of a model.
I’m sorry – I would rather hold a grudge, but that’s the irony of it all. Christ shows the example that no matter how far down and how awful people are to us, that we are called to love others just the same.
I deeply appreciate that – I do. Unfortunately, it shows that though God through Christ can forgive me, love me, and always present me with unconditional love, my flawed, funny, neurotic, quirky mind is not always first-to-forgive. How do we forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us? This is the “terrible duty” that we say every week. This is the turning point that separates the spiritual from the spirit-talkers.
Just to be clear, some days I’m spiritual. Other days I’m a good talker. You figure out the rest.
I think the more important part is not that I forgive everyone who wrongs me along the way today. More importantly is to realize that these other people (notice it’s never me…) are children of God too, and if I can’t forgive them, then I have to ask God to use his great power to help. Ultimately, that healing only takes place when I accept his love, his power, and allow it in.
Prayer: God help me to love others as they are. Not as I want them to be. Not for what they may have done or left undone, for usually they are just doing things, making their way as best they can, just as I am, and just as the other people on this planet are. Allow your unconditional love to seep into my conditional mind. Allow your eternal forgiveness to break through an unforgiving heart. Allow your peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding to be the peace that we cannot leave behind.
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