Told from the perspective of a 39 year old man
What is forgiveness? Does it mean that I must forget?
One person says that forgiveness is giving up all hope of the past ever being better than it was (my paraphrase).
I must forgive my church. Sure it is hypocritical with its separated conferences, and people who are more capitalist and American than Christian, but so what...so am I. The church is supposed to be filled with broken people, and the rank hypocrisy is simply evidence that we are all in the right place...church, the hospital for sin-infected sinners. I forgive my church.
I must forgive my country. The sins of this nation seem always conveniently whitewashed so that they don’t seem as bad, and that issue is not present. I was angry with my country because I actually believed it was a Christian nation. However, it is not, nor was it ever. So I have no reason to expect Christian values and conduct from it. I forgive America for not living up to the false expectations it sets for itself, and it teaches all others to expect from it.
I forgive me.
I know this sounds weird, but I am the hardest on myself. I can forgive others, but to forgive myself…
I must forgive God. Not because He has done anything wrong, but because I had a view of Him that was off, and He didn't always meet my expectation. I have to admit I was pretty angry and disappointed with Him until He let me know that I was wrong in my expectations. So I guess...I’m not really forgiving Him since He did nothing wrong. I am forgiving myself again, this time for misunderstanding God, and have false expectations of Him.
Why can I do all this forgiving? On what authority do I forgive?
I forgive, because I have been forgiven. I have been forgiven for every failure, every act or thought. Jesus died to pay the debt, not only for my sins and failures, but also those of everyone I have hated. I've been forgiven for my porn and promiscuity.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with whom I am forgiving. When I forgive others I am not forgetting what has happened. I am simply choosing not to hate, but to learn a new life principle. There is no forgiveness in hate. Forgiveness belongs to something else. And since I am tired of hating, I am searching for that something else, and for me it starts with forgiveness.
I think though, that forgiveness is not simply a declaration or decision at a point in time, but I think it is entrance into a new way of being. Forgiveness is ongoing. So I’ll probably have to forgive again tomorrow, until my brain and emotions are so used to forgiving that I automatically live in forgiveness, whenever hurt, fear and hatred raise they Cerberus heads.
But that’s OK. I’d rather live forgiving, than simple survive hating. Living is so much better than just surviving.
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”
What is ‘Sex-U-Ology’? It is my study, prayer, and meditation with God as to the meaning of gender, sexuality, and marriage theologically. It is astonishing to discover that the church does not have an adequate “-ology” when dealing with sexual intimacy, gender specificity, and marital unity as they relate to God.
Maybe it is time to address such topics in a more meaning-filled and reflective way. Journey with me, as we consider our relationships in the light of God's original intent. - J.A. O'Rourke