Monday, October 22, 2012

Forgiveness: Some Thoughts from Pete Enns

Over at Rethinking Biblical Christianity Pete Enns has some stimulating thoughts on forgiveness. He talks about not just the need for forgiveness, but what it requires of us and does to us as well as what God requires of us in the process. 

Here is a bit of what he has to say. I thought the last paragraph was particularly insightful:

Forgiveness does not mean that we make believe the injustice never happened, or make light of it. It does not mean we leave ourselves open to abuse. It means we cease harboring ill against the other. We let it go.
Forgiveness does not depend on our ability to bring the other to the same realization. Our forgiveness must commence regardless of the other. We can only make the decision for ourselves to move to the center. We cannot force the other to take that same step. We cannot control the other. We can only control ourselves.
Forgiveness is not for the weak, for it means letting go of our need for justice. It is easier to forgive if we feel some guarantee that justice will be delivered in the near future. But that is not forgiveness.
Forgiveness looks only within, what we can do. It does not think of what should be done to the other.
When we focus on the injustice that has been done, it will become the dominant thought, and so we might be tempted to be God’s instrument of justice, to help things along. That makes forgiveness impossible.
If we call upon God to bring justice, he will begin with us, not with the other. So, we should not call down justice upon the other. The role we have been given is to forgive. Justice is what God will do, mercifully.

Please stop by his blog and read the entire post here. Good reading if you have had a rough weekend. :) 

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