Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Forgiveness is Easy: We've Been Doing it Our Entire Lives

“I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a man’s bad actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.  For a long time I used to think this a silly straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life - namely myself.  However much I might dislike my own cowardice, or conceit, or greed, I went on loving myself.  There had never been the slightest difficulty about it.” - C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, p 177)

We all love ourselves.  We love our family, our school, our city, our country, our culture.  We love our political party, our opinions, our sense of humor, our wit.  We love our quirks, our unique view of the world, and we are willing to forgive our little imperfections because "we're inherently good people who occasionally make mistakes."

We forgive our own rudeness (because somebody had to say it)
We don't mind our own stereotypes (the stereotype wouldn't exist if it weren't true, right?)

We forgive our own dishonesty (it was an innocent lie, and no one got hurt)
We don't mind our own greed (at least we want it for the right reasons?)

The Golden Rule was never so applicable.  Instead of just "doing," how about we THINK of others as we think of ourselves?

We don't have to assume all people think the same way we do about all topics.  But might we assume that the reason for their view is just as valid as ours?

Can't we assume that people who make mistakes are just as good as us, they simply make different mistakes?

It reminds me of the phrase: "God, Help me to love those who sin differently than I."

We judge people.  We have to in order to live and get anything done.  But we don't have to be mean, or assign blame or evil intent to every action we think is bad.  We recognize bad behavior, we try to protect ourselves and others from being victims.  But we don't have to demonize the person making mistakes.  We can see them as they are - because they are just like us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.