Henry Ford is believed to have said: “Sometimes a mistake can be all it takes to make a valuable achievement.” Apparently paradoxical, the statement says a lot about us and what we consider at any given moment to be “a mistake.”
Contemplating a God who forgives any sin, no matter how monstrous, can be a stumbling block to those who believe there must be some reasonable limits to forgiveness. But it is also a reason for hope for those who might otherwise feel too sinful to seek Him.
We know that authentic forgiveness is Christian and desirable. And we also know it feels good to receive genuine forgiveness. But does God ask us to forgive under all circumstances? We often try to discover the answer to such uncomfortable questions about God by looking at those who say they know Him. And, sometimes, we have something to gain by doing so.
Some time ago, an older friend, now a parent, was telling me how the way his father treated him in childhood caused him unnecessary suffering. Now, as an adult struggling with anxiety, he has spent much time in a psychologist’s office.
May 1944. The train stopped at the station and twins Eva and Miriam, with their father and mother and sisters Edit and Aliz, stepped out into the sunlight. There was war in Europe and the Nazis had gathered them and thousands of other Jews in Romania, crammed them into cattle cars and taken them to Poland.
How much do we know about love? Enough to understand that love is not an obligation—we cannot love by force, nor be loved in this way.
“Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge.” (Jerome Isaac Friedman)
What would you do if someone denigrated you in public? You could deny the information, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to rehabilitate your image. If you leave things as they are, there is a risk that silence will be interpreted as guilt. If you go to court, the process might take a long time and it may not remove any suspicion.
Most of our beliefs are easy to keep, as long as nothing puts them to the test. Like many others, Henry Gerecke discovered to what extent he truly believed in what he had preached for years when faced with a difficult choice.
Izzeldin Abuelaish wrote a book titled I Shall Not Hate, now translated into 13 languages, about the hatred that led to the death of his daughters. "Hate is a poison, a fire which burns you from the inside," he writes.
“Can’t good people teach bad people to be good?” Madeleine asked her mother, with the innocence of a seven-year-old.
Forgiveness is the central idea in Christianity that sets it apart from other religions.
Who do you need to forgive?
A lack of conflict is not necessarily a sign of spiritual maturity, as some Christians might be tempted to believe. The way in which we manage conflict says a lot about how we understand the role of grace, forgiveness and reconciliation in a sinful world.
Revenge is a trap the wise do not fall into, goes the diplomatic saying. Still, wanting to give someone a taste of their own medicine is a common desire.
12Page 1 of 2