Seems to me that the world has forgotten how to forgive one another… how to judge a person, not on that which he has done in the past… but on what he has learned from those things he has done in ignorance. There are few of us who can say that they have never broken any law, even fewer who haven’t thought unclean or in appropriate thoughts and perhaps even acted out on some of them in their younger years or at periods of weakness in their life. Not many of us can claim perfection and most of us have closets that are kept off limits and closely guarded from all but the closest of friends. Yet we judge others by standards that we ourself have not yet attained.

We learn very little in school and much of what we do learn is forgotten with the passing of time… yet most of us can remember nearly every lie we have ever told, every misdeed we have done, especially those we got away with, and all of those victims that we took advantage of, but are no longer around to seek forgiveness from. We remember these things because they are always with us, hanging neatly in the closet that we built for them. To protect our closet we find fault with those who remind us of those things we are hiding… hoping that our attack will deter others from suspecting us of similar thought or behavior.

Guilt is often the primary obstacle that prevents many of us from becoming all that we can be because it robs us of the ability to see goodness in ourself or in others. Until we have learned to forgive ourself and taken steps toward atonement, we will not truly be able to forgive others or accept them as new creations. Out of the darkness, Light was born, so too, our atoning goodness is a result of past misdeeds.

Let us forgive that which was done in ignorance and rejoice in the product of redemption that we can see before us.

Wayne Dale Matthysse

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