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Forgiving through understanding?

Questions and Conversation about Chapter 16

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OneSheep
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Forgiving through understanding?

Post by OneSheep » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:11 pm

On Page 229, Papa tells Mack to forgive by saying aloud “I forgive you”. While this is certainly an essential first step, many people cannot forgive with mere will to do so; the person continues to hold something against the sinner.

Reading the Gospel, specifically Luke 23:34, “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, Jesus invites us to forgive at a deeper level, through understanding that people do not know what they are doing when they sin.

In fact, it can be observed that nobody knows what they are doing when they sin, that something relevant is either not known or the person has become blinded to the importance of the knowledge because both anger and desire block empathy, and can block the conscience itself.

Can readers on this forum relate to this forgiveness? For example, we can all look upon the murderer and ask “what did the murderer not know?” There is always an answer, right?

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Arus
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by Arus » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:17 pm

OneSheep, I can only tell you from my perspective. I got pregnant at a very young age, and, when I told the father, he reacted by punching my stomach. I obviously lost the baby, but I also lost the chance to ever fall pregnant again.
The hatred I carried inside him haunted me for years and years. In fact, it consumed me!
Twenty years later I parked my car outside a shop, got out, and came face to face with that very same "father". He looked just as horrified as I'm sure I did, lol.
Papa took over, and I opened my arms and hugged him as hard as I could. There was a moment of hesitation on his side, and then he hugged me back, just as hard, and started crying like a child. It turned out that he hated himself for what had happened more than I ever did!

The thing is, I never stopped to look at things from his side. He was very young too, and his father used to beat him for anything he did wrongly, so, he simply reacted the only way he knew how.

Me forgiving him probably helped him in some way, but, it helped me tremendously. In fact, it changed my life.
In the cracks of an earthquake, new flowers grow.

Doggie
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by Doggie » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:59 pm

OneSheep,
I agree it is sometimes easier to forgive when you understand the reason. Sometimes not so much. I personally believe that when we are willing to forgive that God intervenes and gives us the ability. I know there have been times he has done it for me. It didn't always remove the hurt but it started me on a road to healing.
It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

OneSheep
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by OneSheep » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:45 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. What an awful experience. I think that there is a time for forgiveness, and it is often not right away. Your experience was a good example of that, it was okay to hang onto the hate.

Are you as sure as I am that he did not know what he was doing? Certainly he had no comprehension of the value of the child, nor knew the impact of the consequences on his own life. What a tragic chain of events.

I think that Papa knew it was going to happen, he saw everything that led up to the punch, like that the man was going to be blinded by his own anger or frustration. In all humility,I know that I could have been that man, I am just as capable of such blindness. It is with this understanding, that I can start to forgive people who do such things; and the words from the cross have guided me.

So I am thinking that Jesus could have coached Mack through such understanding. For example, such murderers are often "psychopaths", people who have an inability to empathize. Psychopaths do not have a notion of human dignity, the only way we can relate to them is to imagine that they feel toward other people the way that we feel toward them when they do great evil. When we witness or hear about such murders, our own empathy shuts off concerning the well-being of the murderer. We hope for their demise, right? It is very natural.

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Arus
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by Arus » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:13 pm

Well, it's okay to hang onto hate if you don't have a close relationship with Papa, like I didn't at the time. But it isn't actually good for you! It makes you see people in the wrong light, if you know what I mean?

For sure he didn't know what he was doing! He was just a child himself.

But, regarding psychopaths, that is where I draw the line. They deserve to die, that's all. There is evil in the world, and they are pure evil.
In the cracks of an earthquake, new flowers grow.

OneSheep
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by OneSheep » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:30 pm

Arus wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:13 pm
Well, it's okay to hang onto hate if you don't have a close relationship with Papa, like I didn't at the time. But it isn't actually good for you! It makes you see people in the wrong light, if you know what I mean?

For sure he didn't know what he was doing! He was just a child himself.

But, regarding psychopaths, that is where I draw the line. They deserve to die, that's all. There is evil in the world, and they are pure evil.
Well, there is some reason to hang onto a bit of resentmet, at least for awhile. I think that we naturally hang onto resentment because it helps form the conscience; the resented image reminds us not to behave the same (or similar) way that the offender did. But yes, once that the resentment is no longer needed in conscience formation, it is sinful to hang onto resentment or hate. It alienates us from people.

Are you thinking that Papa hates psychopaths, that She does not forgive?

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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by Arus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:48 pm

OneSheep wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:30 pm
Are you thinking that Papa hates psychopaths, that She does not forgive?
Nope, Papa would probably forgive them, it's me who can't.
In the cracks of an earthquake, new flowers grow.

OneSheep
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Re: Forgiving through understanding?

Post by OneSheep » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:22 pm

Arus wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:48 pm
OneSheep wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:30 pm
Are you thinking that Papa hates psychopaths, that She does not forgive?
Nope, Papa would probably forgive them, it's me who can't.
I agree that it is very difficult to forgive them. If you are the victim of such a person, and you have to deal daily with the pain, then there is much more involved in forgiveness, there is a grieving process that can take a long time. We are not to "forgive too soon" as a well-known author writes.

However, there eventually comes a time to forgive. Have you heard "holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."? It is a saying that originates in A.A.

And from the cross Jesus gives us the key to such forgiveness, He understands the mindset (lack of awareness) of His persecutors.

For example, what characteristic of psychopaths do you find especially unforgivable?

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