When we’ve screwed up really bad, seeking forgiveness is the only option left to us. Usually we feel dreadful remorse for our action.
If only I could rewind time, I’d do everything differently!
I can’t believe I did this!
If only I knew now what I knew then, I wouldn’t have behaved like that!
But all those statements are how we try to “make it up” to those we’ve sinned against. Usually, they only make the person feel worse. Why? Because we are showing that we aren’t taking full responsibility. We are looking for another way out beside confessing that we grabbed what we wanted and to hell with anyone who got in our way. We try to pay off the debt of our sin with futile, useless words. But seeking forgiveness is the only option left to us.
We balk at asking for forgiveness because it takes the matter out of our control. It transfers the burden to the goodwill of another.We have to heave all our crap at someone else and hope they catch it, without throwing it back.
No matter what the wrong, there is always a cost. The cost may be money, emotional pain, physical ailments, or a change in life. Justice demands payment. Eye for an eye. Hit me, I get to hit you back. When you seek forgiveness you say to the person you wronged, “Will you, the person who didn’t do anything wrong, agree to pay the consequences of my crappy behavior?” If I punch you,will you take the pain without making me pay with a broken arm? Will you suffer and release me from suffering?
Forgiving kinda sucks.
In a fair situation, you pay me what you owe. I have the right to demand action when I’ve been wronged. I have recourse. But when I forgive, I promise not to make you pay. I give up my right to bring punishment. And in doing so, I absorb the cost.
In a fair world, if I behave well and make good choices, I live good. If you behave badly, you get to suffer for it, not me! But when I forgive, I agree to absorb all the wrong inflicted. It’s now my pain, my debt, my punishment.
How brutal. How God-like.