What is Forgiveness?

I am unable to post an article this Monday as I usually do, so I offer this instead. I hope you like it. ~Tim


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6 Responses to What is Forgiveness?

  1. consultgtf says:

    Why someone needs forgiveness?
    He or She has not performed as expected, in simple terms. But imagine the Creator who has to forgive all, I mean ALL His creations, for allowing them to act on their FREE WILL?

    Is that a mistake? So, You sin…!


  2. Chas says:

    Tim, while I agree with the message to a large degree, there has been an example in UK recently that has required anger and resentment to remain until there has been a proper accountability for wrong action. A big soccer match was taking place at a neutral stadium, but many of the fans had been delayed and a large number had been trying to get into the ground at one of the entrances. Because of the crush, the police ordered a gate to be opened and a large number of fans went in one part of the ground. So many went in that a large number were crushed against the barriers at the front and 96 were killed. The police blamed the fans, many of whom they said were drunk and behaving very badly and this was the version that was taken up by the press. Over the years, the parents of some of the young people, having spoken to the many survivors, refused to accept the official version and kept up pressure on various authorities to review the evidence. Eventually this happened and it was found that the police account was far from the truth, with important evidence having been falsified. As a result, a new inquest was held earlier this year and its finding was that of UNLAWFUL KILLING, because of the totally inadequate response of the police to the situation as it arose. The officer in charge was inexperienced and untrained in crowd control, and he failed to respond in the right way at step one, which would have been to delay the start of the match. He had then compounded his mistake by opening the gate without shutting off the alley to the part of the ground that was overcrowded. Other mistakes in responding to the medical emergencies had also been made and senior officers had colluded to fabricate a false account if the incident by the changing of statements made by lower ranks. Also, while some fans had been drinking, they were not drunk and their behavior was not bad. This finding was a shock to the nation, because we had believed that our police were, on the whole, honest. To find that this dishonesty and injustice had arisen from within their ranks was deeply disturbing; however, it would never have been revealed without a long deep period of anger and resentment on the part of the parents and other relatives of victims.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Chas, I appreciate the story and your perspective on it. And I don’t disagree with you; I believe in accountability. However, I think there is an alternative response to a situation that “required anger and resentment to remain until there has been a proper accountability for wrong action.” I believe determination and persistence can do the job without requiring anger and resentment.

      The soccer situation is also a public and legal issue. It required a truth to be acknowledged and a wrong to be corrected. But it does not require the survivors, families, or others to continue harboring hate and bitterness toward the individual who was inexperienced and untrained in crowd control or other authorities involved.

      I think the forgiveness this graphic talks about is personal forgiveness for a personal offense rather than public or political issues. In fact, I think it makes the point that we can forgive without releasing the person from their accountability.

      Chas, I always enjoy your comments. You have a good way of challenging ideas, and that is an important element of critical thinking. And your comments make my thinking sharper. Thanks always; the comment section would not be nearly as rich without you.


      • Chas says:

        Thanks for your comment about me, Tim, I always enjoy contributing to your blog. In this example, the anger and resentment of the relations focused on the police force involved, as the role of the commanding officer on the day was not fully clear until the final inquest. The anger and resentment might have been the necessary driving force for these people to have had the determination and persistence to continue pressing the authorities for all these years to make the police accountable. In general, I agree with you that forgiveness is desirable in personal cases, but there could be individual cases that parallel this public example, particularly where individual abuse of power has been involved.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jesuswithoutbaggage says:

    Wow! Todd S Erickson expressed it so well in a brief comment elsewhere!:

    “Forgiveness does not require reconciliation or the waiving of consequences. It is you refusing to carry the harm that has been done to you by others around with you forever. Forgiveness is about you, not them.”


    • Chas says:

      Tim, that comment is perceptive, because often unforgiveness centers on bitterness and self-pity. There is a good example of it in the public domain. During the 1960s, a number of murders were committed by a man and woman pair of serial killers. Their victims were young people, some of whom were tortured before being killed and the killers went so far as to record the sounds of their being tortured. The killers were caught and sentenced to life imprisonment, with the man being held in a secure mental institution, as he is insane. One of the victims, who was 12, has never been found and his mother was never able to forgive the man for his crime, even though he was criminally insane. She remained bitter and unable to find peace right until her death a few years ago. She let it destroy her life. She became a victim herself, bound in bitterness.

      Liked by 1 person

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