Forgiveness Is About Relationship, Not Law
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus,
Forgiveness is about relationship, not law. We are asked by Jesus to forgive our brother or sister in His Name. This means restoring them to relationship with ourselves just as God has restored us to relationship with Himself. We are brothers and sisters in God’s family; Dad wants us to get along!
This doesn’t mean pretending that the hurt never occurred. “Forgive and forget” is not the Christian way; “forgive and love again” is. We need to honestly feel the debt that our brother or sister owes to us, not to deny it or cover it up. Then we can honestly offer this debt to Jesus, who paid our debt to the Father by His Passion and Death on the Cross.
This is the Christ-like forgiveness we are called to practice—a forgiveness that involves the self-sacrifice of offering up our hurts, our grudges, our resentments to God in union with Christ on His Cross. Our Cross may require great humility and the suffering of injustice (real or perceived), but so did His.
Peace in Christ,
Father Matthew Kuhn