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Re forgiveness




The amazing thing about forgiveness -- both in giving it and in receiving it -- is that it involves a humbling of self.

If I ask to be forgiven (of another or of God), I humble myself by admitting my failure and offensiveness. I must receive as one unworthy to receive, but still I must admit my need to receive forgiveness. "I'm sorry. I was wrong. Will you forgive me?" (I ask couples in pre-marital counseling to practice these words every day.)

If I am asked to give forgiveness, this too involves humbling. And maybe this is why we find it so hard to forgive others sometime. To forgive I must give up my own superior position and forfeit my "right" to satisfaction. (If it's conditional, it's really not forgiveness.) I must admit I was hurt, and must let go of that by trusting God to be Judge of the universe. I must release my (righteous?) anger and say, in effect, "I'm no different than you, and just as I have been forgiven, so I forgive too."

It costs both people something to forgive and to be forgiven. In both cases I give up my supposed right to be right, or to be seen as right, or to be seen as perfect. In true reconciliation both parties give up their pride.

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