Friday, August 17, 2012

Forgiveness and the Insoluble Riddle

I usually try to answer the unspoken questions other people have about important topics on this blog. (How well I do is for you and God to judge.)
Now, I ask you to do the same for me.
I’ve never learned to forgive – myself OR anyone else for major mistakes that they are not sorry for – or when they or I have done irreparable harm to another. EVER.
Oh, sure, I understand the problem with “eye for an eye” justice, and technically, I’ve never actually retaliated when someone has done me injury. And I do forgive other people for their faults, if forgiveness means allowing individuals to get away with faults scot-free. 
But such "forgiveness" is merely intellectual. In my brain, all is forgiven; in my heart, all is not. And though I will rarely if ever say anything out loud (and certainly NEVER to the offending parties), the burning anger at what I have done wrong and those who have done me wrong never, NEVER stops. Time may heal the memories of others, but it only sharpens mine.
Forgiveness is central to Christianity. Christ commands us to forgive, “seventy times seven” (Matt 18:22) times. And not just in our intellect, either. We are called to give each other entirely to each other, to forgive each other entirely. Christianity is not a faith of half-measures. We forgive or we cease to be Christian.
I hate insoluble riddles, at least those riddles I know are solvable. And I know other people have solved the riddle of forgiveness, because I see their joy at having done so.
But I can’t solve this one on my own. Any help? And certainly, please keep me in your prayers; you are in mine. 


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