Doing the 'brutal math'
I agree. Fake forgiveness is all around us. In my heart. I know it is at work also because of problems that go unsolved and fester in every church. So what's the problem? Pride. We just can't get used to putting into practice the idea of being willing to be the hurt party--not requiring recompense for a wrong--no emotional satisfaction; or rather, what we think would be satisfaction.
Here's my favorite quote from the column (it's not online in full anymore...ehem, except in the google cache, which I don't recommend using if you don't subscribe...cough):
Forgiveness is a brutal mathematical transaction done with fully engaged faculties. It's my pain instead of yours. I eat the debt. I absorb the misery I wanted to dish out on you, and you go scot-free. Beware the forgiveness that is tendered soon after injury; be suspicious. Real forgiveness needs a time lag, for it is wrought in private agony before it ever comes to public amnesty. All true acts of courage are thus done in secret.Oh how we desperately need this kind of Christian maturity!
“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” –Mark 11: 25-26 (NKJV)