Friday, November 13, 2009

On Forgiveness

"Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy. Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness."
`Abdu'l-BaháThe Promulgation of Universal Peace

I must begin by asking forgiveness.  I am an imperfect man, and as such, I have failed.  Midnight has come and gone with no new post on my blog.  I went a full 24 hour period without posting which means that I will not be able to post for 100 consecutive days.  On day seven, I have already disqualified myself from reaching my goals.  I could respond to this by making excuses about my day at work.  I could say that because I worked from 10:15 this morning to 11:56 tonight, I was not able to complete my post, but I would rather ask forgiveness.  I ask it from you, my readers, and from myself.  I will forgive myself, but first I must have your forgiveness.  Will you forgive me for my failure to do that which I have promised?

According to Wikipedia, forgiveness is defined as as "the process of concluding resentmentindignation or anger as a result of a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and/or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. The Oxford English Dictionary defines forgiveness as 'to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offence or debt'."  Using that definition, if I am to fully forgive myself, I must give up my self-resentment for not posting within the time boundaries that I placed at the beginning of this endeavor.  My forgiveness of myself is crucial to the continuance of this blogging exercise, because if I do not release my resentment then I will begin to see this endeavor and its continuance as a failure.  If I begin to view this blog as a failure, then there is no reason for me to continue to invest and sacrifice the time that it takes to create these entries.  Basically if I don't learn to forgive myself then I carry a defeatist attitude that ultimately leads to defeat.

The funny thing about forgiveness is that, even if you forgive me for any wrong that I have committed against you, it does no good if I cannot except your forgiveness and use your forgiveness to forgive myself.  If I ask for forgiveness and you do not grant it, then the transgression that I committed to you still has an influence on both of us.  The unresolved problem can cause bitterness and anger and stress because it is not being dealt with.  If you forgive me, but I do not except it then the problem will continue to have an influence on me.  It can lead to me carrying attitudes of failure and defeat, which can wreak havoc on my current and future relationships.  However, If you forgive me and I choose to accept your forgiveness and forgive myself, I can move past the problem and learn from it and be a stronger and better and ultimately freer person because of it.

Learn to forgive others and forgive yourself.  I have a friend who, at one time, committed a rather grievous sin against me.  There was a period, during which, I thought I would be unable to forgive him, but thankfully God was able to do a big work in my heart and I was able to forgive him.  Through that forgiveness he and I have grown much closer and have a deeper relationship.  The fact that God allowed my heart to be softened to forgiveness also provided a frame of reference for a forgiveness trial that he has had to face in his own life.  The fact that I, through the grace of God, was able to forgive him, provided an example and precedent when he was face with a situation where he had to forgive.  Forgiveness changes people.  Both the forgiver and the forgiven are changed by the act of forgiveness and reconciliation. None of us deserve forgiveness, that is why it is always a gift.  Learn to except and value that gift and you will have a better, richer, and more fulfilling life

It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.- JESSAMYN WEST 

I love you all,

P.S. Even though I was late submitting this blog, I will continue to post as if I had finished this before 12 o'clock, which means you should look for a blog tomorrow evening.  I woke up this morning and felt as if I had been beaten all night by 13 midgets with baseball bats.  Apparently waterball takes its toll on the body.  I'll be off now.  I have a new liquor to try.  It is called "The Kraken" and it is a dark spiced rum..... I know, it sounds delicious right?   



Jordan Blakey said...

Good post man. Worth not hanging out, though I wish we had.

Actually, I don't know what you're whining about. I define a day as starting when I wake up and ending when I go to sleep. So I think you're fine ;)

But this could be a problem when reading this becomes an ingrained habit and I don't have anything to read when I sit down at my habitual time and place.

Get it together fool. ^_^
Love you,

P.S. proud of you for doing this and interested to see the effects.

Michael Chase Spain said...

Of course I forgive you for writing your post at hour 26. Please exercise the topic of your blog and forgive me for not commenting :(

I found myself wondering if I were the friend who had grievously sinned against you, but then realized I wasn't...and felt smugly superior. Then I remembered all the times I have had to ask your forgiveness and felt abased and ashamed. However, I then recalled all the times I have forgiven you (for both what you know about and not) and felt rebalanced and appropriately humbled.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little. ~ Luke 7:47

I love you much, brother.

PS Indulge a thought on writing style? I personally believe there is a special circle of Hell reserved for those who use Webster's Dictionary definitions as introductions to their topic...but that's just me.