RENEW International - Home   RENEW International - Blog   RENEW International - Shop   RENEW International - Donate   RENEW International - Request Info


What Does It Cost?

What does it cost to say “I forgive you”? For some it is a matter of pride. For some it is a matter of principle. For some it is matter of justice. For some it is a matter of love.

As Christians, we know the ways that Jesus taught us to forgive: turn the other cheek “not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22). He forgave everyone — those like Peter and Judas who betrayed him, those who made his life miserable with their constant doubts and tests, those who crucified him. His was an unconditional forgiveness. We seriously question our ability to ever follow his example. We find it difficult to forgive the small things in life that happen to us — the woman with the full grocery cart in the “12 items or less” checkout line, the parents who bring their children to church and “let them run wild and eat Cheerios,” the cousin who never visits at the holidays but does come to town to see friends.

Look around at the people in your world. Where do we see the kind of forgiveness today that Jesus taught to his early followers? One of the most perfect examples came out of the horrific story of the man who gunned down innocent children in an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. A tragic event was transformed into one of the most incredible experiences of forgiveness shown by one human being to another. The Amish families extended a hand full of forgiveness rather than a fist closed in anger to the man who had taken the lives of their children. In the “normal” settings of life, the cries of “Give him the chair!” or “Lethal injection is none too good for the likes of that guy” would have been shouted from the rooftops. But these people were rooted in the Christian world, and they believed that forgiveness is God’s gift to be shared with all.

Forgiveness offered out of love, not pride or principle, is the kind of forgiveness Jesus longed to share with his people. It is this kind of forgiveness that builds the kingdom for all.

Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and a huge Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish fan.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Please read our comment guidelines.

Home / Request Information / Shop Online
Why Catholic? / ¿Por qué ser católico? / ARISE Together in Christ / Longing for the Holy
Campus RENEW / Theology on Tap / RENEW Worldwide