Thursday, 23 July 2015

Slippery Words: 2 - "Forgiveness"

Many were shocked/surprised/amazed at the reaction of some Amish families after their young ones had been horribly murdered.  This National Public Radio story sheds some light on the forgiving spirit of Amish families whose children had died.

In a similar vein, some members of  the A.M.E "Emmanuel" Church in Charleston, S.C.  offered forgiveness to the alleged murderer (evidently a White Racist), of their brothers and sisters.

How cozy it is to "coo" with pleasure when Amish and A.M.E. Christians forgive those who have brutalized them.

But what about us: do we have the same ability and willingness  to forgive?

I think about a woman I know,  who finds it impossible to forgive the man who murdered her daughter.

I have suggested to her that it is indeed  utterly difficult for her  to forgive a man with whom she has no relationship;  a man who has never asked to be forgiven.

AND YET  true forgiveness is not  dependent on the one who needs forgiveness; instead it is routed in the one who is called to forgive,  ------  at a price

The  forgiving  person has to pay the price of abandoning pride, bitterness, resentment, anger, self-righteousness,  and the like.

That is why forgiveness is so difficult.  It carries so much pain for the potential forgiver.

BUT the refusal to forgive is even more painful.

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