I picked up this book a long time ago but recently decided to take a peek because I’ve been wondering how justice and forgiveness relate to one another. If you’ve ever given it any thought, the two don’t always go together — in fact, I would say on an initial assessment, they seem mutually exclusive.
But I was immediately humbled by an opening litany of questions. Check it out:
Can Forgiveness Get Into Our Hearts?
I have felt God’s love and care for more than six decades of this life. I know God. Yet I have questions. why do I become offended so easily? How can rejections and betrayals, which in looking back are so slight, cause me such pain and wound me so deeply? I am a follower of Jesus and have God’s Holy Spirit living within me. As Paul says, we are “more than conquerors” (Rom 8:37), yet I too often lose battles of self-control. Why do I act unjustly? Why am I not more loving, compassionate, sympathetic, empathic and forgiving? You might have experienced such dissatisfactions with your own self-control.
My defeats crop up in sneak attacks. Recently a group that I work with had an impassioned discussion. Someone has said that the battles in academe are so fierce because the stakes are so low, and this was one of those cases. As it turns out, this time I happened to be on the winning end of a close vote. So I was feeling good.
But as I walked out of the meeting shoulder to shoulder with a colleague on the other side of the vote, she couldn’t resist getting in a payback jab. “Well, the old boys network rammed that through,” she said.
To me, being subtly (or not so subtly ) blamed for sexism came out of the blue. But what disturbed me was my reaction. I was hurt. I could y face freeze into a mask. You know the kind–intended to tie away nothing, it actually gave away everything. I quickly disengaged.
Weeks later I still felt like cutting off relations with this coworker. How quickly little wars begin! How easily they are maintained!
Such experiences raise other questions. Can we avoid little wars? If so, how? Can we heal wounded egos? How? Can reconciliation occur if we hold ten thousand little grudges?
Sometimes the questions prove the answer is worth fighting for. And these types of questions means that we are fully present and invested in bringing about a peace that surpasses understanding. Looking forward to reading this book…I’ve had some of the same questions.