Forgiveness Options: A. Superficial; B. Conditional; C. Unconditional
Why do I believe human life on Earth cannot survive without forgiveness?
Anyone can forgive someone who they are in a relationship with, they admire or agree with; it is much harder to forgive a stranger, one you disagree with or your enemy. The awkwardness within our milieu is due to a fundamental misunderstanding exacerbated by the emotionally charged word “Love” in the English language. Languages such as Greek have several words depicting love in various forms: emotional, erotic, friendship . . . Yet like love, forgiveness offers and expresses many different things.
To forgive need not involve your emotions.
It feels wonderful to forgive and be forgiven within a relationship such as a marriage. Yet the human race can overcome some of the most tragic and horrific episodes of human history by choosing to forgive and act on it even when we do not feel like we want to. When enemies chose to forgive and not inflict acts of vengeance on a vanquished foe, though ill feelings still linger, they assume the higher moral ground, discover their hate subsides and all the people effected by the recent conflict recover faster and better.
No greater example of this can be found then the relationships The United States of America embraced after World War II.
The USA assisted Germany and Japan – former enemies – recover as well as innocent and allied nations. The post WWII world experienced a remarkable trend toward peace (not a perfect peace though) when within the global family of nations Germany and Japan became productive positive entities. This was not the way losers of previous wars were treated nor did they expect this altruistic treatment. Where does this concept originate?
God bestowed upon humanity instructions that when followed yield the best outcome for more people for a longer period of time.
As a Christian I discovered that within the Holy Bible prescriptions are furnished as well as proscriptions for humans to live by. One of the greatest lessons became obvious to me after living a while and observing life: Emotions are fleeting and decisions made under their spell often calamitous. As the old cliché reflects, “Cooler heads prevailed . . .”. Not to imply pure emotionless logic is the route I promote but rather, act when one has gained control of his or her emotions and clear thinking dominates so one can recognize the best decision for the situation at hand. Forgiveness leads to better things but one can only see this when emotions are held at bay and reason prevails.
Christians gained this insight fro the Holy Bible; excerpts follow:
Ephesians 4:32 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Proverbs 10:12 English Standard Version (ESV)
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all offenses.
Matthew 6:12English Standard Version (ESV)
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Matthew 18:21-22English Standard Version (ESV)
21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.
John 13:34English Standard Version (ESV)
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
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