RATIONALITY has nothing to do with how life in relationships work.
Relationships do not work on principles that can be weighed. There is rarely the point of right or wrong in relationships. There is no black and white in relationships, only myriad shades of grey.
It’s because of perceptions… and points of view… which are all different… and differing values mean we apply differing weights of importance to the same matters.
So why do we consider that someone else should suffer the indignity of being humbled when we won’t? Why is another person to forgive us when we don’t feel led to forgive them or another person or people?
Forgiveness is not about justice any more than justice is about reality. Justice is about right and wrong, whereas forgiveness is about reconciliation, and there’s not much justice in this broken world of ours.
Disconnecting forgiveness from justice eases all our impossible expectations.
Someone does us ‘wrong’ and then we become imprisoned in our hurt until we get an apology. What if it never comes? It would have been better not to think of what they did as right or wrong, just or unjust.
Just as God’s forgiveness had nothing to do with justice – us getting our just desserts – God’s grace, through mercy, is free to all who accept the gospel truth, doing nothing else, adding nothing else to it, and acknowledging their sin, and by engaging in the regular practice of repentance, to live the abundant life, through a relationship with Jesus.
Just as God’s forgiveness had nothing to do with justice, God’s grace, through mercy, ought to be extended to others, regardless of how they treat us. This is the entire gospel wisdom; the rules with which God engages us, which are the rules with which we’re to engage others – especially Christians.
For Christians, forgiveness is not connected to justice. Connecting forgiveness and justice is more a worldly construct of thought.
We received God’s forgiveness when we didn’t deserve it, so we show others that same mercy when we think they don’t deserve it.
A simple way of thinking about forgiveness:
It’s FOR God – because of the mercy we received from Him, that – we GIVE mercy.
Using the words “for” and “give,” we give mercy for God, because of the mercy we experience.
Steve Wickham is a pastor who holds Degrees in Science, Divinity, and Counselling.
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