My purpose in writing about Forgiveness is simply to get people to think about it. What would happen if each of us were called on to be our own Judge and Jury on the Day of Judgment? What do you suppose your verdict would be after a thorough self evaluation of your life? If you are not learning from your mistakes, if you are not sacrificing to make payment for your misdeeds, if you are not conscious of the ugly footprints you have made, during your time on Earth, and doing everything you can to repair the damage for the life forms that will follow you… how would you expect to find yourself innocent of all the charges brought against you? I believe I just heard someone shout the name of “Jesus!” in response,  but perhaps those who did should think again… for in the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Jesus is accredited with having said something like this:

“Heaven is like a King, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. One was brought to him who owed a large sum of money, but the man could not pay and so the King commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had so that payment could be made. When the servant realized the King was quite serious he fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ And so it was that the King was moved with compassion and decided to release the servant and forgive him of the debt. When the servant was released however, he found one of his fellow servants, who owed him only a small amount of money and he grabbed him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

And this fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ The rich servant however, would not pardon the man but had him cast into prison instead, until he should pay back that which was due. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told the King about it. Then the King called the rich servant in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ Then the King in his anger delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him.”

I have always thought that the moral of this story was that I MUST forgive everyone who does evil against me, even if they are not repentant, because God forgave me for all of my transgressions against Him through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus. Over the years however, my belief in God has changed and I no longer believe in a “God Being” who demands repentance from each of his “created beings”. Instead I now believe in Life, which I suppose could be called God if one chose to do so, however, I choose not to, simply because to refer to something as “God” implies an Entity other than Life, and my feeling now is that there is but One Life and it is That Life, which is present in both you and me and in all things that are living.

Still, I find these words from the Bible rather interesting, because they seem to make the same point I am trying to make. The servant’s debt was pardoned, but not forgotten… and the pardon was contingent on a change of heart. When that didn’t happen, the pardon was canceled and the servant was held responsible for all of the debt he had incurred.  It is also interesting that it was the servant’s peers who turned him in when he failed to show his gratefulness. Perhaps the moral of this story is not really about forgiveness at all, but more about holding each other responsible for our actions here on Earth.

I get the feeling that many people believe a life of sacrifice and recompense is boring and not very enjoyable. I would have to challenge that idea, however.  It is like choosing to stay at home and cooking a meal from your own garden instead of going out to have a Big Mac and fries… it may be more work to stay at home, but the long term benefits to your health and well-being far outweigh the damage that fast foods will bring upon you. As in the parable above, Awareness is our Forgiveness and what we do after we become aware of our wrongful living, is what determines our state of well-being in the Present… and frees us from the bondage of regret

Some may respond that if we only have one life to live, what difference would it make how we lived our lives. If there is no Hell or punishment for sin we could do whatever we wanted and never feel guilt.

I personally do not believe that fear of Hell is the only thing that keeps people from doing evil. Humankind is basically good but because of misunderstandings some people lose their way and may do evil things. Once misunderstandings are cleared up however, most people return to being good. Of course there are exceptions.

Regarding “One Life”, I am referring to all of Life as One and it is this One Life that is both Creator and Creation. Humankind is but only one form it has taken on Its Journey through time and space. Life will continue long after humankind has served its purpose and you and I will continue to be a part of It. When a man and a woman come together as one, they do not recreate life… they continue the Life that is within them. Life is and always will be. When the end of our human life comes around, however, there just may be a moment of self evaluation… and for those who have wasted their time on greed and selfish desires, a time of realization. It need not last an eternity to be Hell… only a few seconds of regret, as the Present slips away.

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  1. I wonder if the question of accountability and forgiveness isn’t rather individual. Some people need to lighten up on an overly developed conscience. Others need to be more accountable. I’m not sure that one size fits all. Or that there isn’t a paradox somewhere in here. You did make me think. 🙂

  2. Wayne Dale Matthysse

    Thanks Anna,

    I agree… many people have never felt discrimination or been treated unjustly… nor have they participated in events that caused pain, suffering, or even death to innocent people. For them forgive and forget is easy.

    For those whose careers have been ruined, or whose life has been altered because of an injustice however, forgiveness is not so easy. And when you have participated in activities that caused destruction and death to innocent people, there is not enough you can do in a lifetime to atone for your misdeeds. That does not mean however, that one needs to be miserable in life. One can find contentment and even joy in a Life of service to others and by making others aware of their misdeeds, we provide opportunity for them to develop into a kind and loving people.

    Just some thoughts… glad it made you think.

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