Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Forgiving ???

This excellent post comes by way of blogger/author Sarah Cunningham

Dear Mike and Jud (my friends at,

I eagerly joined People of the Second Chance,
but…you should know…
sometimes I am a Person of the Zero Chance.
…or a Person of the Minus Four Chance.
Aka A Person of No More Chances.

Here’s the deal: I’m really good–stellar good–at forgiving most offenses.
Like don’t even worry about it.
I barely noticed.
That good.

But across life, there have been a few situations–at least three that I can think of (I‘m sure there are more)–where my messed-up little soul turned out to be more stingy than all that.
One of those unforgiving sprees reared its head prior to a book I wrote about disillusionment with the church. Over the course of time (and I mean TIME) though, I let it go. And when I say I let it go, I mostly mean God pried my white-knuckled fingers off the weirdly attractive grudges one at a time.

Letting go did not come natural to me.
There was stuff in my background that made not tracking other people’s offenses counter-intuitive.
But I really and completely let it go.
And it felt FABULOUS. (Still does.)

I even threw 50 fancy musings on forgiveness into my first book from my learning.
They were genuine insights then. Still are.
But…I still struggle (honest translation: fail) to apply them in these other two situations.
(Can you sense the hypocrisy yet…?)

As it turns out, given the right circumstances (and I mean, the WRONG circumstances), my mercy can still (even after all this learning) operate on a light switch that goes on and off with a flick of my pointing, accusing index finger.

For this, mercy on.
For that, mercy off.
I’m like the forgiveness clapper.

. . . And it all boils down to the following poisonous soul-cycle:

1. I forgive.
2. I re-expose myself to said person (in either stupidity or in a spirit of forgiveness.)
3. I am wounded again.
4. I get bitter about it.
5. I eventually forgive.
6. I try again.
7. Wounded again.
8. More bitter.
9. Harder to forgive.
And so on and so on and so on until the end part is that I am really bitter and no longer forgiving.
At all.

This is when I realize I’ve de-volved—in certain instances—into a Person of the Zero Chance.

You can read the rest of here article here >>

3 John 8
Bill H.

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