Friday, April 07, 2006

On Anger & Forgiveness

Instead of posting on anger & forgiveness I thought it might be more engaging to link to a friend's post & my comment. So, here it is!

6 comments:

Shawn said...

John, thanks for your comments. I appreciate your time, study and encouragement. An interesting thing to note: Why is it assumed that Anger preceeded (or is at least attached to) the Foregiveness? I struggle more with disappointment than anger (I know semantics, right?). I am really digging deeper into this and will post a blog shortly dealing with unmet expectations in life and how that can effect a control freak like myself. Keep preachin brotha.

John Lynch said...

Right on, Shawn! I'm eager to read it!

kevin beck said...

that's a great post. thanks for bringing it up. i think that fairness might be overrated. what would life be like if everything were fair? what would we learn about ourselves, about God? what is fairness anyway? it might be nothing more than culturally conditioned sensibilities of right and wrong. If i steal is it fair to have my hand cut off? if i lie, is it fair that i my tongue is cut out? Mother Teresa gave up everything to help the untouchables. is it fair that she lived in abject poverty? This is an amazingly important subjsct. Thansk again for sharing it.

Shawn said...

i don't know if its fair, but would you steal if you knew your hand would be cut off?

Al said...

If the question of stealing was starve vs. steal (and risk losing a hand), I think the question would be more difficult to answer. I think what Beck is getting at, though, is the question; can "fairness" even exist on earth? Losing a hand for stealing a piece of bread hardly feels like a "fair" punishment. I don't think "fariness" is something that can ever be achieved on earth.

John Lynch said...

I wonder if the notion & even language of fairness is something sin & democracy have twisted into oblivion? Perhaps a better word is "just" or "justice".

Children teach us that ethics are a combination of nature & nurture. While it has become fashionable to emphasize the latter & discount the former, children express a rudimentary sense of what is just & good & what is not. For instance, a child knows that hugs are connected to something good & spankings or lost "Elmo" dolls or angry voices are connected to something bad. They know in their hearts that Mom & Dad are supposed to love them & meet their needs for feeling safe, strong, acceptable, & significant. They also know that having absentee parents (behaviorally or emotionally) is connected to something bad. As adults, then, it's safe to say our ethics have both internal & external origins. (Paul talks all about this in his letter to the Romans.)

So, what would life be like if suddenly, today, everything became "fair" or "just"? Well, the Bible seems to indicate we'd all be burning in hell (ouch!). But if justice had taken hold before sin, Adam & Eve would not have sinned against God. Back it up even further & Lucifer would not have rebelled either!

But how do we be fair or just to those who are unfair or unjust? The example of our just & fair God demonstrates punishment equivalent to the crime. So we'd better get busy punishing everyone, right? Or are we too unjust & unfair ourselves to qualify for such an undertaking?

Perhaps we are a mixed back of justice & injustice. Yes... that's it! We are both. Every religion in the world recognizes this. We are Ying & Yang. We are good & evil. We are divine spark & mortal flesh. We have the potential for something good & perhaps even more potential for something bad. But, however we understand the problem, we need help. We need someone to take away our guilt & unjust hearts.

If only there was a person who could take our place, fulfill the just requirements for wrong-doing & give us some kind of supernaturally transforming spirit! Then we'd be full of justice... & probably full of grace out of our gratitude for the grace we've received, right?