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Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

09 January 2011

Forgiveness

Chad and I got these t-shirts for our anniversary. They are actually pretty apt for the Cheeky house; people never seem to get tired of telling us that we are weird. The fact that we're being different on purpose never seems to stop anyone from listing all our strange attributes. So, why not announce it right off and let people know ahead of time that strangeness is coming their way, right?


I had a conversation with a teacher once that included the statement, "Forgiveness is separate from consequences." (As you may have guessed, it wasn't the happiest conversation of my young life.) This was quite a revelation to me, who had heard such sayings as "Forgive and forget" my whole life, and always thought that forgiveness meant that whatever had happened was now finished, never to be mentioned again. How wrong I was, firstly because humans aren't good at that sort of thing, and secondly because while "to free or pardon from penalty" is one definition of forgive, another is "to cease to feel resentment against". So in essence my teacher was saying, "I'm no longer angry with you, but that will not save you from the misery I spent half the night plotting for you."

You may have spotted where I'm going with this. God doesn't forgive like humans do; he really can (and does!) forgive and forget, for which I am very thankful. But he doesn't save us from our own poor choices, either. If I cause a car accident, my insurance rates will go up whether I love Jesus or not. If I refuse to pay taxes, God doesn't intervene to stop me from going to jail. If I jump off of the balcony of my apartment, I am in no way excused from the laws of physics that will result in broken bones once I hit the ground. As Stephen Covey expresses it in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, "If you pick up one end of a stick, you pick up the other."

I might just wear that t-shirt to church today for my own amusement. But I think I'll walk down to the bus stop, instead of trying to fly there.

11 comments:

Kari Marie said...

I love those Tshirts! Your thoughts on forgiveness gave me something to remember today. You are right! Thanks.

Kittie Howard said...

Fun tees! And thank you for an awesome post I wish everyone could read. I know too many people who think they can do/say whatever they wish, angle a forgiveness, and get mad when consequences still come their way. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

a runners' life said...

The Tshirts are great!
Forgiveness is a tricky issue. It's certainly easier to forgive than it is to forget something. And consequences, well what can I say, they aren't going to go away just because we say we're sorry - sometimes it would be nice though.

Su said...

@Kari: I love them, too. Although we decided against wearing them to church. :(

@Kittie: Wow, I don't often get an "everyone should read this" reaction! Thanks! If only people would think things through before acting instead of expecting everything to go away. It's kind of like what parents always say, "You should have thought of that before!" If

@Runner: I don't know who came up with "forgive and forget", because I don't believe that human brains work that way. :( And yeah, that would be very nice!

L'Aussie said...

I can just imagine you two trotting out in those tees. They're great! I like what you had to say about forgiveness. Takes the 'forgive and forget' that much further.

charlieschurchofchrist said...

we often think God forgives, but doesn't forget especially when we make the same mistake twice and now God is super duper upset with us for falling for it again - but I think this is just silly religion.

Grandpa said...

I always think of it this way: if God can forgive, who are we not to? But it's not easy, esp if you are seriously wronged.

Su said...

@L'Aussie: I'm thinking the first day of my new term at uni would be a good time to wear it! ;)

@Charlie: Yep. And it takes no consideration of what God himself says.

@Grandpa: It's a muscle that you hope you don't often have to exercise, isn't it?

kangaroobee said...

I love those t-shirts too! I wish we could all make up a different slogan every day and wear it, it would be so therapeutic.

Su said...

Very true! Plus, then people would be forewarned about what mood everyone is in.

kangaroobee said...

Oh yes, how handy would that be!

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