I’ve been thinking about our motives behind forgiveness? That is, is our forgiveness selfless, as is the case with God’s unconditional forgiveness of our sins? Or, is our forgiveness centered on selfish reasons?
It would be great to be in a position of giving out unconditional, selfless forgiveness, but I have to believe that many of us hand out “selfish” forgiveness. What do I mean? Well, I think that we make the decision to forgive others (or ourselves), because it helps us lift that anger/resentment/hurting off our shoulders. “We” feel better when we forgive others. “We” feel the stress leave when we forgive others. We’re not really taking into account what our forgiveness does for the other party. Our motives are somewhat selfish in this case aren’t they? And, doesn’t this contrast with “selfless” forgiveness. You know, how God forgives us because he loves us and wants us to be at peace. Isn’t He really thinking about the other party here?
Maybe selfish forgiveness is okay. Maybe there is absolutely nothing wrong with the motives behind the handing out of forgiveness. Maybe I have dug down too deep on this, and it really isn’t even an issue. What do you all think? Do we need to think about why we forgive others? Is selfless forgiveness even realistic, or was it meant only for the One that can truly achieve it?
note: picture courtesy of http://relations.kimcm.dk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/forgiveness.gif