I read a marvelous piece on forgiveness this morning.
The ongoing blurring between genuine contrition and “I’m sorry I got caught,” on all-too-regular display when someone prominent “apologizes,” angers me. On those occasions when I must apologize, I try to a) make sure I’m sincere before I offer it; and b) examine carefully what I’m going to say before I say it. Whether purposely or accidentally, ultimately I don’t want slimy little loopholes worming their way in there. “I’m sorry you were offended”? Don’t bother. That’s worse than saying nothing.
I’ve been fortunate not to have been deeply wronged very often, but when it has happened, sometimes I’ve had trouble forgiving. I can know intellectually that it takes energy to keep such a wound open, and that it’s not well-spent. I can also know intellectually that there is a difference between feeling actively antipathic toward a person, and simply avoiding being put in a position to be hurt by that person again. However, rational thought faces formidable opposition in deep anger, does it not?
The Chuck Colson essay linked above is excerpted from the anthology Acculturated. It’s worth your time. I suspect I’ll read it a time or two more, at least.
I hope you have a good weekend.