Collaborative Forgiveness

Yesterday I gave two reasons I’m unsatisfied with the idea that God is the only person involved in human forgiveness.

1. Some people have been harmed too greatly to get past their negative emotions.

I would think this should be obvious, but it isn’t. In fact, in Christianity anyway, it has become so common to speak of forgiveness as if it’s the Nike slogan: Just do it. Or, like we said yesterday: God will just do it.

That mentality creates this mentality: if a person still has negative feelings towards a wrongdoer then that means they either need to forgive and haven’t really tried, or they are bad at forgiveness and are immoral.

A third option is this: some harms are so great that emotions never get completely transformed. And, in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. There is only something wrong with that if we start with the assumption that forgiveness is just about emotions and that our emotions are the most important aspect of spirituality.

I think emotions are important. But I do not think they are the most important aspect of spirituality. And I don’t think forgiveness is primarily about how we feel. We’ll come back to that in a couple days.