Those who have been brought up with some kind of Christian background are likely to know the ideal of forgiveness – that the loving, “Christian” thing to do when someone wrongs you, is to forgive them.  After all, Jesus came out with (amongst other things in the bible about forgiveness):

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (Matthew 18:21–22 (NIV))

I have a problem with this, and it is as follows.  If you are being called to forgive someone who isn’t sorry for what they’ve done, someone who isn’t aware that their actions or words have hurt or harmed you, how are you supposed to deal with that hurt or harm and forgive someone for sporking your eyes, being careless, making your world unsafe, etc?

That doesn’t really seem fair.  I get that forgiveness would be a useful thing to push in a small community to ensure that cohesion is maintained, but it also is open for a lot of abuse, if the same powerful figures continually hurts or harms someone, and expects to be forgiven, where is the safety, justice or consideration for the hurt or harmed person?

I’m all for being angry at being sporked, angry for being hurt, and angry for harm caused.  I don’t see any immediate need for someone to forgive, forget and move on with their life, especially if the action that caused hurt or harm is one that the perpetrator is either unconscious of, or not sorry for.

The weirdest bit is the guilt of not forgiving someone, or being rightfully angry that you have been sporked.  Because the message that forgiveness is so important is laid on thick (at least it was in mine and several other Christian childhoods I know of), that when you refuse to forgive someone right away, it’s a very weird thing, in that you have to deal with both the guilt and the anger/hurt.

In the end, I suspect that moving on, not dwelling on the issues, getting over it, whatever the process is for you, is a kind of forgiveness – however, there is no need to forget.  I may eventually move on from things and people that have pissed me off/hurt me/harmed me over the years (as I’ve moved on from many, there are some that I have not yet done so), but I consider each sporking incident educational and not something that I should ever forget.


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