If you can ask the question: "Should I forgive or not?" then you don't understand the troubled situation you are in. If it is a matter of whether we should forgive or not . . . if the issue is put that way, then the battle is already lost. And, the battle is with evil and condemnation and all that is against the way of Christ in this world. It is not that it is easy "to forgive." If you think it is your right to decide whether or not to forgive, it is damn near impossible to forgive in certain situations.
For me to say "I forgive you" to someone who has done me wrong just doesn't seem right to me. If I can take up that God-like position over someone who has wronged me, then I can't be a channel of God's grace. Truth is: we simply don't have the right to sit on the throne of judgment. If we did, maybe we could withhold or grant forgiveness. If you come down from that throne and lose all desire to ever ascend to that throne in judgment over anyone . . . well if you do that, God's will is done; God's grace flows through you; God's peace comes to you.
In the full humanity of his flesh and blood existence, Jesus comes "not to condemn, but to save."
He is the way and the truth and the light; and his way doesn't include making decisions about whether to forgive or not. If that is a decision we have a right to make, then we remain in bondage to sin. If we get to the point where we simply don't have it in us to condemn, then we have come out from under sin.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I'll be reflecting some on this later today. It seems that Jesus' view was that it was God's business whether to forgive or not. It seems to be in the "job description" of the divine, and outside the scope of our business. That is, from what Jesus says, and from what he does, true humanity simply passes on God's forgiveness, acts as a channel of it. It is, in that sense, not any great deed to forgive, just "par for the course."