"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Other Side of Forgiveness

Most conversations about forgiveness usually focus on the act of forgiving; how do I do it, does that mean that I have to give that person full access to my life again, do I have to love them, do I have to forget about what they have done, and other questions. All these questions are very valid, and need answers. If you want to understand forgiveness I suggest "Exclusion and Embrace" by Miroslav Volf. It's a bit of a tough read, but I have never found anything that explains forgiveness as clearly and completely, so it's well worth the slog.

But there is another side to forgiveness which isn't discussed as much; asking for forgiveness. In order to have forgiveness happen - mostly - you need the forgiver and the offender. I sometimes think it's easier to be the offended party - the one that needs to forgive - and that's why most of our conversations centre on that aspect. It's easier to be the self righteous one, thinking that there's nothing I've done wrong, I'm in the right, it's them that needs to clean up their act.

So - I wonder if that isn't why there are passages in the Bible where we are told not to have communion until we've apologized to someone that has something against us. Or, in the Lord's Prayer where we are to ask, 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us'.

While forgiving is a hotly debated topic, I think asking for forgiveness is a lost art, and equally as important - if not more so, especially considering that Christians have managed to offend and alienate most of the rest of the world.

What about you? Do you find it easier to forgive, or to ask for forgiveness?

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