Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Doing the 'brutal math'

A few days ago I happened upon one of the latest WORLD Magazine editions--tucked in the back was the column from Andrée Seu on the simple matter of forgiveness... Or should I say the not-so-simple matter of forgiveness. She titles the piece: "The thing we don't do" for a reason. She basically asserts that we fool ourselves most of the time.

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)
<< Home 4 Comments:
Blogger Gloria said...

So true Mark. I myself have a hard time forgiving those who have hurt me. The first thing I want to do is hurt them the way they hurt me. And the funny thing is a lot of the time the person may not even know they have done the offence.I still have to keep reading and rereading Mark. 11. Thanks for this post.

7:35 PM, October 10, 2006  
Blogger Crystal said...

I can so identify with the part about true forgiveness taking time and being wrought through personal agony outside of the view of other men. it is generally a matter of time until you come to the point where you realize that by holding onto your hurt you are only hurting yourself and they are not suffering at all. Usually this is such a hard lesson to learn and just when I think I have it, something else comes up...As Paul says, "Strive for the mark of the high calling..." Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is forgivness! But oh so necessary and worth the effort. Thanks for this reminder.

9:14 AM, October 11, 2006  
Blogger Brandy said...


7:42 PM, October 11, 2006  
Blogger Rebekah said...

Complete, utter selflessness? Bearing the pain you want to inflict on the offender? Boy do I ever need to improve.

10:29 AM, October 13, 2006  

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