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Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Aspects of Forgiveness – Part 1 – Justice


“Tell the righteous it will be well with them,

for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.”

~Isaiah 3:10 (NIV).

Justice and forgiveness are always poignant topics in life; we cannot escape them. Switch on your nightly television News program and ten minutes later you’ll know all about it—perceptions of justice and injustice are weighed acutely in the mind and heart of every viewer.

We are all touched one way or the other.

We see upset relatives interviewed who’ve watched on as those who’ve murdered, raped or have otherwise assaulted their loved ones never get the true justice deserved. The phraseology, “we’ve got a life sentence,” and “I’ve got no closure” become synonymous for what these people are left with.

They’re left hanging.

The trouble is we and they are looking for the wrong thing. There can be no true moral justice—that of a meaningful and equitable redemption—in our legal systems.

We expect too much if we think our justice systems will ever deliver us in this way.

Defying the Madness – Forgiveness is the Only Answer

How can reparation-at-justice truly meet with equity regarding many of these crimes? Even if we went ‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ we’d be no better off within ourselves.

We need to frame justice differently—and this is where forgiveness acts for justice. It brings about equity and reparation on a heavenly scale and it’s the only solution.

“We tend to talk about justice far more often in every community that’s been in turmoil and we rarely talk about forgiveness and mercy.”

~Robert Enright.

The difficult thing, of course, is getting over the enormous challenge of the anger implicit in vile injustice. But the truth is, many times in life we will not get our justice, we will be cheated, and we will lose out. There has to be a way out of this trapping thinking, though.

If we don’t get beyond the hurt, we ourselves will remain stuck there, and all our loved ones remaining to.

I am a believer that forgiveness can, at root, be a decision of the will—knowing it is the best route for us, so long as we can reconcile any guilt we have for not fighting. It’s not as if we’re refusing to fight; it’s more that we allow justice to take its course and then we accept whatever comes, trusting the system to work as equitably as it can... it is a human system after all, and it will, therefore, never be perfect.

But, it will be good enough.

The Forgiving Will Enjoy the Fruit of Their Deeds

Everyone who has truly tackled the acts of forgiveness upon the vast and sweeping injustices of life has been blessed with the tangible and intangible fruit of blessing.

And this is certainly peace and the release to live life again.

It is peace to forgive; it’s accepting we live in a very imperfect world—a place that God governs, yes, but a place all the same that is bound as much by sin and wrongdoing as anything.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Acknowledgement: A paper from www.journeyfilms.com from the motion picture, The Power of Forgiveness.

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