Personal accountability as God’s will…
Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen – George Savile…
I was looking at the idea of forgiveness the other day and found this: Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, let’s go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offense from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship). (Wikipedia 2015)
In general this is probably one of the best definitions I’ve ever discovered. It isn’t like some I found use the word to define the word. That’s a stupid and lazy way to identify and explain the meaning of the word. In its own way, defining words with the word does no good. It merely lets the writer get away with being non-communicative and ignorant, and trying to become contagious with that ignorance.
Politics is where we find the use of the word forgiveness to be improperly understood.
I believe it’s God’s will we should forgive as in the first sentence: “Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.”
We can do this. Everything in the statement is accurate, but in the bible it says in Romans 12:19:”Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. It goes on to instruct: “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so you will heap burning coals on his head… “
It’s obvious this is a difficult command to follow if the offence is great enough. But, there’s no statement the offender should be returned to the same state of grace and trust as he/she held in the past. It in no way suggests the offender should be allowed to hold the same office they had when they committed the offence against us. Ineffectual, inefficient, incompetent politicians are regularly “forgiven” for their lack of representation and malfeasant, improper acts and allowed to continue on their merry way. Nowhere do we see the “burning coals heaped upon their heads”.
The problem isn’t with the actor as it is with the resolutely irresponsible management allowing these egregious acts of Congressional and Presidential misconduct to continue. The management is composed of us; the constituents and voters of America.
In the name of Forgiveness we make no demand for change because we condone their inequity with our silence. We reject the knowledge of the offence and suffer on as the unrepentant offender walks his path to wherever he sees his best benefit will be realized. We make excuses for the bad behavior and do nothing to change that behavior because we’re supposed to be following Romans 12:19.
Last: we use forgetfulness to disremember and strike from our consciousness the offense because we do not accept our responsibility to hold these people before the bar of justice and answer for their actions. We reconcile with the offenders for no more reason than they expect forgiveness without the element of penance. In this we restore ourselves to the condition of victim in waiting.
But has anybody ever suggested WE, THE PEOPLE might be the instrument and vessel holding and meant to deliver the “heaping burning coals upon their heads”. We give amnesty or exoneration to those who wrong us. We absolve the actor of his/her responsibility to treat us justly and with honor. We allow ourselves to be set-up for the crime and then shudder and retreat from our right to redress by law.
It’s agreed we should accept and practice God’s law. But, never forget that as we are alleged to be created in God’s image, then we are responsible to behave in God’s stead or place when his laws are broken. We are supposed to be righteous in our acts and strong in our defense of our rights and lives. We were given free will and consciousness of our responsibility.
Now get off of your numb butt and hold your representatives responsible for their acts.
Personal accountability as noted in the quote is the requirement.
Thanks for listening