I’ve read and written and contemplated the concept of forgiveness quite a lot, but it never hurts to revisit truth, and you know how I have that corner of my heart for the words of C.S. Lewis. Lately I’ve been hunting down quotes on Pinterest in the name of fighting ignorant misquoting, and I came across a sermon on forgiveness by C.S Lewis which can be found here.
The following are quotes that jumped out at me:
“Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it.”
“They [those who believe forgiving is excusing] think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart – every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.)”
“To excuse, what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
I keep wanting to copy and paste paragraphs, so you should probably go read it for yourselves 🙂
I also keep thinking that a lot of these principles ought to have been covered when I was a child. Sometimes I feel like Sunday school was far too sugar coated; we learned what but never the distinctions or reasoning until high school. Anyway, I’ve been wrestling with forgiveness myself, and I was just thinking back to a conversation I had with a friend who felt like forgiveness invalidated her hurt. I can’t say that I haven’t ever considered that, but it always comes back to Christ. We love because He first loved us. He set the example in forgiveness and doesn’t even ask us to replicate it, but rather to imitate as best as we can (Eph. 5:1).