“She told me to ‘Stop being so Sicilian.’” This, a quip from my co-worker.
“Apologies, Steve, but as I’m not of Italian heritage, what does that mean?”
“Sicilians are well known for holding a grudge. My mother didn’t speak to her sister for 40 years after they had a spat.”
“Wow, sounds tough.”
Indeed, forgiveness is tough, and this exchange got me thinking about how sincere I am in the forgiveness department. In one sense, I don’t see forgiveness as that big of a deal, as if the water rolls off my rain jacket. The more introspective response around forgiveness is for me to actually stop and think, to stop and measure.
I posit that forgiveness is an action, compared to an inaction. It is far too easy to carry on in the day’s tasks and let past transgressions drift away in time. That’s forgiveness by inaction, the action of forgiveness has been displaced by cooking, running errands, grinding out spreadsheets, all matters of distraction.
So how do I get to a point of active forgiveness? Humility is a good place for me to start. I also need to balance an honest look in the shaving mirror and not allow myself to become defensive. Only by breaking myself down to my most basic [sinful] self can I begin to become the active forgiver that we’re all called to become.
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.