Saturday, December 4, 2010

Forgiveness - What it is and What it is not

First of all, let me say this:  Mom is slightly improved.  Please know that your prayers for 'peace' are both much apparent and appreciated.
Secondly, as to the title of this blog post - let me say unequivocably, I offer these thoughts not as an authority on the subject but as an ardent (albeit reluctant) student of same.  My observations are simply the result of serious but necessary soul searching and reflection of certain events in my pilgrimage.  Only by God's grace can I rightfully claim any richer understanding of the concept of forgiveness.
And no doubt - I have far to go.

We watched a very gut-wrenching movie together - Momsie and her three daughters. 
Amish Grace is an exploration of two vital tenets of Christianity: grace & forgiveness and is based on the true story of the 2006 schoolhouse murders of five Pennsylvanian Amish girls.  It was strangely fortifying to sit through this bawling our eyes out together; the vigorous discussion that followed the film was such that only Mom's signal for rest and her bed brought us to a truce - a revisit is likely to happen soon.  :)

It was an extremely well-acted, respectful rendering of a horrible human tragedy and this is the line (defended by the Amish 'clergy') that sparked such a fierce debate:  Forgiveness is unconditional.
Collectively, we had just sat under a series of sermons and read a few books on precisely that topic:  Repentance/Forgiveness Restoration/Healing.
Unconditional forgiveness?  Does the Bible teach that?
Have you ever challenged yourself to ponder the precept?  Want a discussion to grow by?  Stick three or more people in the kitchen, pour some beverage of choice and lay your cards on the table.
I think you'll be surprised.  Maybe even a bit rattled.  Not to worry.  Spiritual stretching never killed anyone.  On the contrary.