I believe that we should, on biblical grounds, tell all parents of mentally disabled children that God loves their children, regrets terribly that they are disabled, and will, when they die, carry them gently into a heavenly life where every person is forever whole.
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.
In a sinful world, no community can exist for long where nobody is ever held accountable: no teacher would grade a student's performance; no citizen would sit on a jury or call a failed leader to account.
At the cross, God was punishing Jesus for the sins of the world. God's justice required a penalty from sinners, and in his unspeakable love, he paid the penalty himself in the person of his crucified Son.
My father was only thirty-one when he died of a heart attack, much too young for a father to die and leave his young wife with five rambunctious little kids to take care of. I was the youngest. Only a couple of months old when he died.
What is a disloyal act? A person is disloyal if he treats you as a stranger when, in fact, he belongs to you as a friend or partner. Each of us is bound to some special others by the invisible fibers of loyalty.
No doubt, corporate CEOs who lie to their shareholders and politicians who lie to their public know and believe intellectually that lying is immoral. Why then do they lie? They lie to others because they first lie to themselves.
When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it.
Nothing is more private than a woman's body; it is her physical, emotional, and moral citadel. She cannot be free at all if she is not free to decide for herself, in private, what to do with her body.
None of us wants to admit that we hate someone... When we deny our hate we detour around the crisis of forgiveness. We suppress our spite, make adjustments, and make believe we are too good to be hateful. But the truth is that we do not dare to risk admitting the hate we feel because we do not dare to risk forgiving the person we hate.
Because arrogance is born in personal vanity, arrogant people are driven without mercy. They can never get enough power to fill the soul's needs or enough respect to overcome the fear that they deserve less than they are getting.
Forgiving is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk. If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love's power to break nature's rule.
Happy people are not their own enemies, do not carry on an endless war with their souls. We may be fiercely at odds with the wrongs of the world around us. But inside ourselves, near the core, if we are happy, we are at peace.
Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply. He began by forgiving us. And He invites us all to forgive each other.
Forgiving does not usually happen at once. It is a process, sometimes a long one, especially when it comes to wounds gouged deep. And we must expect some lapses...some people seem to manage to finish off forgiving in one swoop of the heart. But when they do, you can bet they are forgiving flesh wounds. Deeper cuts take more time and can use a second coat.
If you cannot free people from their wrongs and see them as the needy people they are, you enslave yourself to your own painful past and by fastening yourself to the past, you let your hate become your future.
I am certain that people never forgive because they believe they have an obligation to do it or because someone told them to do it. Forgiveness has to come from inside as a desire of the heart. Wanting to is the steam that pushes the forgiving engine.
How many times should you forgive your household bruiser? You should not even think about forgiving him. Not yet. Not as long as he has his foot on your neck. Your problem at this point is not forgiving. Your problem is how to get out of his reach. Once you get away from him, you can think about forgiving him.
If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have...they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who suffered most. We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts. We give the monsters the last word.
Their pain [the injurer's pain at having injured you] and your pain create the point and counterpoint for the rhythm of reconciliation. When the beat of their pain is a response to the beat of yours, they have become truthful in their feelings...they have moved a step closer to a truthful reunion.
Vengeance is having a videotape planted in your soul that cannot be turned off. It plays the painful scene over and over again inside your mind...And each time it plays you feel the clap of pain again...Forgiving turns off the videotape of pained memory Forgiving sets you free.
Sometimes I like to list the strongest arguments I can find to support a point of view I think is wrong. When I have them before me, I am up against a real opponent rather than a hypothetical one that is an easy target for me to hit.
Jesus said that we should render to the state what properly belongs to the state, and though he had taxes in mind, we might reasonably infer that giving the state the job of punishing wrongdoers is one way of giving the state its due.
The problem with revenge is that it never evens the score. It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain. Both are stuck on the escalator as long as parity is demanded, and the escalator never stops.