Forgive

“Forgive quickly and forgive deeply;” with these words the speaker began Sunday’s sermon.

The sermon was a good one, but I kept coming back to her opening statement. I spent 50% of my time agreeing and 50% thinking that she had no idea what she was talking about.

I agree that forgiveness is important.

But before I forgive I need some time to be angry. If someone has done me a great harm, I need lots of time to be angry. I like to come up with creative ways to get even. Even if I never act on it, I want to have at least developed a “settle the score” strategy.

Quick and deep forgiveness does not create space for anger.

It forces me to deal with my anger immediately. It demands that I move past the hurt. It looks for the most direct path to restoration. It does not give me time to wallow in my anger.

Is this, quick and deep forgiveness, what Jesus was doing as he was nailed to the cross? “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 12:34)

I like to hold on to things, especially when others have hurt me.

Quick forgiveness demands that I let go.

Deep forgiveness asks me to seek restoration.

Isn’t forgiveness what being a Christian is all about – right relationships with God and with all of humanity?

On one hand her statement is a no brainer. As Christians we have one option. This is good, we don’t have to stress about making the right decision!

On the other hand the one option is not always easy.

Forgive quickly and forgive deeply.

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