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← Miroslav Volf - Consider Forgiveness

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Ukazujem Revíziu 4 vytvorenú 10/18/2013 od Emily Elizabeth.

  1. Forgiveness is a tough thing and you have to be
  2. sure that once you start this risky journey of forgiving,
  3. that somehow it's going to turn alright; that you're not going to be a loser.
  4. My name is Miroslav Volf and I'm a Theologian.
  5. I teach Christian Theology at Yale Divinity School.
  6. I'll tell you what Christian tradition, what my understanding of Christian tradition is, and this is that we give forgiveness unconditionally
  7. and we give forgiveness unconditionally, because that's what God does.
  8. God forgives, without waiting for us to repent.
  9. That's what Christians believe happened on the cross of Christ.
  10. God acted on our behalf to forgive our sins,
  11. and hence for us, forgiveness is not predicated on somebody else's apology that happens before we forgive,
  12. but it's also not possible, I believe, for forgiveness to come its full completion, to come to its fruition, without apology.
  13. And the example that I give always is this:
  14. Forgiveness is like sending a gift to somebody, giving a gift to somebody.
  15. Well it takes two, it takes the one who gives the gift and it takes the other one who receives the gift.
  16. Imagine now, I send a gift to my sister and I buy it, I package it, I send it,
  17. it's sitting on my sister's table, but my sister says:
  18. "I don't know whether I want to take that gift...open that gift..."
  19. She may have all sorts of reasons, you know, "this brother of mine, he is trying to bribe me with something" or whatever that reason is.
  20. "Maybe that's too expensive for him, I don't want to receive it."
  21. Now I ask you, have I given her a gift?
  22. From one sense, in one sense, I have, right?
  23. I bought it, I packed it, and I sent it.
  24. From another perspective, I've not given her a gift, because she hasn't received it.
  25. I think that's how it is with forgiveness.
  26. When we forgive, we give a gift.
  27. But it takes another person to receive that gift.
  28. And the way in which we receive that gift is by apology...
  29. ... by repentance. And that's the place and the role of repentance.
  30. In response to forgiveness, it could of course be initiated by somebody who asked
  31. for apology before forgiveness is offered, but I,
  32. as the one who have been wronged, am obliged
  33. to forgive or am freed to forgive, I think is maybe a better way to say.
  34. Be respective, whether an apology has come.
  35. Whether they would receive forgiveness, will depend on them.
  36. At the beginnings of my own journey of forgiveness,
  37. lies this story of my brother's accident when he was playing with some soldiers.
  38. Due to their negligence, he had died in that incident.
  39. It was a kind of shattering event, as you can imagine,
  40. for a family. Many different things and many ways of dealing
  41. with that were possibly including pressing the full claims of justice.
  42. My parents had decided immediately, and independently from each other,
  43. to forgive this soldier.
  44. Why did they forgive? Basically my mother said,
  45. "the word of God says: forgive as God has forgiven you in Jesus Christ"
  46. and that's what we did.
  47. Now that's relatively simple to say it that way, but
  48. she will immediately add: it was very difficult; difficult act to do.
  49. The motivation, the decision, was easy - but it was terribly difficult to carry on.
  50. I always thought about this as an, not just an extraordinary act psychologically,
  51. but it also taught me something about the purpose of
  52. forgiveness. Purpose of forgiveness is not
  53. simply for me to relieve my own psychological burden,
  54. but sometimes that's happened through forgiveness,
  55. it's not simply also to relieve of guilt the other person,
  56. but someone also to return that person to the good.
  57. To return them back to the way they ought to live their own lives,
  58. freed from guilt but also freed to live in a
  59. more positive way and I think that's what my father was really after.
  60. You know when you are violated, when somebody has
  61. done something to you, everything within you rebels.
  62. Everything within you says 'but this is not right. [He or she] They ought to pay for that.
  63. They have wronged me.' I think the sense of
  64. being wronged... we can see that from very early on... is very much present
  65. in our psyche. We react to a wrong committed
  66. by wanting somehow to right it. The way we right it
  67. is often by revenge, the way we write it is often
  68. by pressing the claims of justice.
  69. It's just as if somebody borrows from you $10.
  70. You ought to return your $10, right?
  71. That's kind of a balancing of scales.
  72. I think that impulse is very strong within us
  73. and especially when you lose something that is
  74. so dear to you and that there is absolutely no
  75. way in return you can make up for that loss.
  76. Then it's difficult to let go. Then it's difficult to
  77. be compassionate toward the person who has wronged you.
  78. Then it's difficult not to let that deed count against
  79. that person. Then it's difficult to show generosity to a person.
  80. I have experienced also that forgiveness comes sometimes
  81. in droplets. In bits and pieces.
  82. You forgive this little piece, but you can't forgive the whole thing.
  83. Then you forgive for a while and then you wake up
  84. in the middle of the night and dark thoughts
  85. go through your mind and said
  86. "wow, I take all of it back!"
  87. Then the next morning you think about it a bit more,
  88. you pray, you come into presence of God, and
  89. then you say "well, I think I ought to forgive.
  90. I do forgive. I'm free to forgive."
  91. So that is how forgive goes, I think. It goes
  92. almost like there's a cycle of forgiveness,
  93. a repeated cycle of forgiveness; of giving and then taking back.
  94. I think we need to not think of forgiveness as a
  95. kind of single punctual act of will; I forgive then
  96. it's over. I think we need to think of it
  97. as a practice. As leading into something, and walking in something,
  98. rather than simply doing it and then turning
  99. your head and going to do some other business.