Throughout my life, I have considered myself to be a person who understands the practice and benefits of forgiveness. I will say, however, that perhaps at times my motives were not always clean and perhaps even confusing to myself and possibly those I forgave. I think that the true act of forgiveness might best be between 1) Those I need to forgive, or 2) Myself with whom I need to forgive, and most definitely 3) God – Praying about, quiet reflection, and maybe even a conversation with a trusted friend about the situation at hand (I believe God loves connections between us, so God is present in that).
Based on self-assessment and, honestly, I can say that in the past, the act of forgiveness has been diminished for me by wearing that emotion on my sleeve. Being the “Magnanimous Forgiver” turned the act of forgiveness into nothing more than fodder for my Ego for which I now realize is dangerous false-nourishment. Perhaps being the “public” magnanimous forgiver could be compared to over-indulging in sugar….I enjoy sweets and can get carried away with the seductive power of this substance, but in the long run, when abused it adds empty calories, wreaks havoc on the body, and dulls the mind…
Perhaps when the time is right to forgive, after careful and thoughtful praying, a more quieter act of forgiveness would be more meaningful. Announcing to the world one’s recent decision to forgive just may dilute the sacredness of a very Christian principle.
Friends and members of our Christ Church family have prepared these daily reflections as a means for you to consider how forgiveness informs your faith walk during this holy season. They are a richly diverse group from many different geographies around our nation and globe, formed by a wide variety of traditions.