If God can forgive, so can we
“I forgive you!” can be as hard a word to say as “Sorry!”, and they don’t always happen simultaneously.
It genuinely seems virtuous to have ‘truth and reconciliation’ enacted but to forgo justice does seem wrong. It is not just about reconciliation: there has to be a squaring up to truth too. No matter how unpalatable it might be there must be justice for perpetrators and victims alike, and yet the two sides of that beautiful forgiveness coin are perhaps some of the most moving encounters we will ever see.
Jesus taught us to forgive and not just when the other says “Sorry!” 70 times seven, he said, ie we should never cease. That does not make doormats of us all and neither does it set aside the need for justice, but it does liberate, especially when God in Christ is present in it all for us.
He himself cried out in his dying moments: “Father forgive them because they do not know what they are doing.”
If God can forgive us in Christ, then we should forgive others, and we can learn how to forgive even ourselves, with The Lord’s help.
Rev Nic Hasnip
Long Sutton Baptist Church