Reconciliation And Forgiveness Quotes

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Forgiveness is not about forgetting. It is about letting go of another person's throat......Forgiveness does not create a relationship. Unless people speak the truth about what they have done and change their mind and behavior, a relationship of trust is not possible. When you forgive someone you certainly release them from judgment, but without true change, no real relationship can be established.........Forgiveness in no way requires that you trust the one you forgive. But should they finally confess and repent, you will discover a miracle in your own heart that allows you to reach out and begin to build between you a bridge of reconciliation.........Forgiveness does not excuse anything.........You may have to declare your forgiveness a hundred times the first day and the second day, but the third day will be less and each day after, until one day you will realize that you have forgiven completely. And then one day you will pray for his wholeness......
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Don't forget that in the midst of all your pain and heartache, you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness.
William Paul Young (The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity)
Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.
Desmond Tutu
The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.
Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives))
Forgiveness is mandatory; reconciliation is optional.
Lysa TerKeurst (Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions)
The Bible is clear about two principles: (1) We always need to forgive, but (2) we don’t always achieve reconciliation. Forgiveness is something that we do in our hearts; we release someone from a debt that they owe us. We write off the person’s debt, and she no longer owes us. We no longer condemn her. She is clean. Only one party is needed for forgiveness: me. The person who owes me a debt does not have to ask my forgiveness. It is a work of grace in my heart.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No)
...you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of Creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness. These also are the results of your choices and every choice matters, even the hidden ones.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
The question of why evil exists is not a theological question, for it assumes that it is possible to go behind the existence forced upon us as sinners. If we could answer it then we would not be sinners. We could make something else responsible...The theological question does not arise about the origin of evil but about the real overcoming of evil on the Cross; it ask for the forgiveness of guilt, for the reconciliation of the fallen world
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Creation and Fall Temptation: Two Biblical Studies)
Killing War I had no desire to alter the viable occupations of humanity, but I was determined to do something about the level of regional bloodshed. Education was my weapon of choice, based on a simple hypothesis: that the advance troops of physical carnage are the propaganda and lies that justify murder, making the real battleground that of ideas. I was determined to address a situation where so many people were ready to kill, driven by the conviction that others are either evil incarnate or will murder them first if they don’t kill them first if they don’t … Entire nations were buried in twisted truths submerged by hate, covered with vengeance. Voices of remorse, forgiveness, justice and reconciliation were drowned out by the din of screams for death or revenge. The best defense system against the cycle of violence was something that is impervious to any tool of destruction ever spawned. That something is knowledge.
Nancy Omeara (The Most Popular President Who Ever Lived [So Far])
Prayer, desperate prayer, seems so simple, but it’s a step rarely taken by those in family conflict.
Erwin W. Lutzer (When You've Been Wronged: Moving From Bitterness to Forgiveness)
Holiness does not consist in never having erred or sinned. Holiness increases the capacity for conversion, for repentance, for willingness to start again and, especially, for reconciliation and forgiveness.
Pope Benedict XVI
Peace is not just about the absence of conflict; it’s also about the presence of justice. Martin Luther King Jr. even distinguished between “the devil’s peace” and God’s true peace. A counterfeit peace exists when people are pacified or distracted or so beat up and tired of fighting that all seems calm. But true peace does not exist until there is justice, restoration, forgiveness. Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity. It is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice. It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.
Shane Claiborne (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
Truth can be told in an instant, forgiveness can be offered spontaneously, but reconciliation is the work of lifetimes and generations.
Krista Tippett (Speaking of Faith)
I am sure that if we can find reconciliation with our past – whether parents, partners or friends – we should try and do that. It won't be perfect, it will be a compromise . . . but it might mean acceptance and, the big word, forgiveness.
Jeanette Winterson (Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days)
We learn to dwell with God by learning the practices of hospitality, listening, forgiveness, and reconciliation—the daily tasks of life with other people. Stability in Christ is always stability in community
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture)
The peace within and flowing from sacred spaces and architecture places is clothed in forgiveness, renunciation, and reconciliation.
Norris Brock Johnson (Tenryu-ji: Life and Spirit of a Kyoto Garden)
We live in a society that shuns guilt, hardly knows it. It is drummed into us: "Don't feel guilty." No one wants to pay the price of reconciliation, of atonement, of forgiveness.
Robert Dykstra (She Never Said Good-Bye)
God wills our liberation, our exodus from Egypt. God wills our reconciliation, our return from exile. God wills our enlightenment, our seeing. God wills our forgiveness, our release from sin and guilt. God wills that we see ourselves as God’s beloved. God wills our resurrection, our passage from death to life. God wills for us food and drink that satisfy our hunger and thirst. God wills, comprehensively, our well-being—not just my well-being as an individual but the well-being of all of us and of the whole of creation. In short, God wills our salvation, our healing, here on earth. The Christian life is about participating in the salvation of God.
Marcus J. Borg (The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith)
Amo amas amat amamus amatis amant amavi amavisti amavit amavimus amavistis amaverunt amavero amaveris amaverit… Everything was love. Everything will be love. Everything has been love. Everything would be love. Everything would have been love. Ah, that was it, the truth at last. Everything would have been love. The huge eye, which had become an immense sphere, was gently breathing, only it was not an eye nor a sphere but a great wonderful animal covered in little waving legs like hairs, waving oh so gently as if they were under water. All shall be well and all shall be well said the ocean. So the place of reconciliation existed after all, not like a little knot hole in a cupboard but flowing everywhere and being everything. I had only to will it and it would be, for spirit is omnipotent only I never knew it, like being able to walk on the air. I could forgive. I could be forgiven. I could forgive. Perhaps that was the whole of it after all. Perhaps being forgiven was just forgiving only no one had ever told me. There was nothing else needful. Just to forgive. Forgiving equals being forgiven, the secret of the universe, do not whatever you do forget it. The past was folded up and in the twinkling of an eye everything had been changed and made beautiful and good.
Iris Murdoch (A Word Child)
Forgiveness is the virtue of the courageous, the response of the forgiven, the mercy of the just.
Ron Brackin (Forgive Your Way to Better Health, Greater Productivity, and World Peace)
If you can see your mother as a fragile five-year-old girl, then you can forgive her very easily with compassion. The five-year-old girl who was your mother is always alive in her and in you.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child)
I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable. I knew I had to be committed to preaching a transforming message to the people of Rwanda. Jesus did not die for people to be religious. He died so that we might believe in Him and be transformed. I'm engaged in a purpose and strategy that Jesus came to Earth for. My life is set for that divine purpose in Jesus Christ. I was called to that--proclaiming the message of transformation through Jesus Christ.
John Rucyahana (The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones)
God was never about making me spiffy; God was about making me new. New doesn't always look perfect. Like the Easter story itself, new is often messy. New looks like recovering alcoholics. New looks like reconciliation between family members who don't actually deserve it. New looks like every time I manage to admit I was wrong and every time I manage to not mention when I'm right. New looks like every fresh start and every act of forgiveness and every moment of letting go of what we thought we couldn't live without and then somehow living without it anyway. New is the thing we never saw coming- never even hoped for- but ends up being what we needed all along.
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint)
We're on a planet. At the same time. In the Universe ... Let's do something Great Together!
Jeff Byington (Zero and One)
God will give us the grace to allow His redemption to come into any relationship whenever we are ready to receive His gift of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Bart Millard (I Can Only Imagine: A Memoir)
There is a payoff for examining the divine author's literary style. It will tell you something about Him. Whereas, Jonah's actions are extensively described and laboriously detailed, God's reactions (although miraculous) are only described in sparse, minimalist terms. God seems much more amused by Jonah than Jonah is with God. Every miracle is directed at Jonah. Yet, very little copy is used to described God's miracles. Although God's miracles are much more astonishing than Jonah's immature fits of rebellion, more copy is dedicated to Jonah.
Michael Ben Zehabe (A Commentary on Jonah)
Detached forgiveness—there is a reduction in negative feelings toward the offender, but no reconciliation takes place. Limited forgiveness—there is a reduction in negative feelings toward the offender, and the relationship is partially restored, though there is a decrease in the emotional intensity of the relationship. Full forgiveness—there is a total cessation of negative feelings toward the offender, and the relationship is fully restored.
R.T. Kendall (Total Forgiveness: When Everything in You Wants to Hold a Grudge, Point a Finger, and Remember the Pain - God Wants You to Lay it All Aside)
the midst of all your pain and heartache, you are surrounded by beauty, the wonder of creation, art, your music and culture, the sounds of laughter and love, of whispered hopes and celebrations, of new life and transformation, of reconciliation and forgiveness.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
NOT EVERYTHING IS FORGIVABLE Accepting an apology doesn’t always mean reconciliation. The best apology in the world can’t restore every connection. The words “I’m sorry” may be absurdly inadequate even if sincerely offered. Sometimes the foundation of trust on which a relationship was built cannot be repaired. We may never want to see the person who hurt us again. We can still accept the apology.
Harriet Lerner (Why Won't You Apologize?: Healing Big Betrayals and Everyday Hurts)
I mean that every word ought to carry the meaning that God has given to life (even though it may never refer to God). It ought to carry joy, hope, forgiveness, love, reconciliation, light, and peace in the order of truth. It contributes to the elucidation of the meaning of life.
Jacques Ellul (What I Believe)
We're women and men who are so sinful and flawed that we deserve hell, but we've been so loved and welcomed that every spiritual blessing, adoption, tender fellowship with our Father and each other, forgiveness, reconciliation, and eternal life is ours. Christ's accomplishments and perfections are ours now. Everything about us is different.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life)
Codependent forgiveness is this fantasized tear-filled beautiful reconciliation where everything is magically cured by love and compassion. As with most codependent issues, it’s focused on other people. Their problems. Their childhood. Their past. You think you understand them so much, maybe even more than they understand themselves! You make up excuses and reasons for them, your heart melts, you take them back, and then they hurt you again.
Jackson MacKenzie (Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse)
It is then he realises that certain things loom larger than forgiveness and reconciliation: memory, for one, and history, bloody history.
Omar Musa (Here Come The Dogs)
The universe does not work in phrases; don’t focus on the commas; just wait for the full stop.
Jude Idada (By My Own Hands)
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
Stop telling people to reconcile, when you have no idea what it took for them to break free.
Zara Hairston
If we can heal our wounded child, we will not only liberate ourselves, but we will also help liberate whoever has hurt or abused us. The abuser may also have been the victimg of abuse.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child)
We simply cannot engage with either the ills or promises of society if we continue to turn a blind eye to the egregious and willful ignorance that enables us to still not “get it” in so many ways. It is by no means our making, but given the culture we are emerging from and immersed in, we are responsible. White folks’ particular reluctance to acknowledge impact as a collective while continuing to benefit from the construct of the collective leaves a wound intact without a dressing. The air needed to breathe through forgiveness is smothered. Healing is suspended for all. Truth is necessary for reconciliation. Will we express the promise of and commitment to liberation for all beings, or will we instead continue a hyper-individualized salvation model—the myth of meritocracy—that is the foundation of this country’s untruth?
Angel Kyodo Williams (Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation)
aggression, violence, compassion, empathy, sympathy, competition, cooperation, altruism, envy, schadenfreude, spite, forgiveness, reconciliation, revenge, reciprocity, and (why not?) love.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
As long as we share our stories, as long as our stories reveal our strengths and vulnerabilities to each other, we reinvigorte our understanding and tolerance for the little quirks of personality that in other circumstances would drive us apart. When we live in a family, a community, a country where we know each other's true stories, we remember our capacity to lean in and love each other into wholeness. I have read the story of a tribe in southern Africa called the Babemba in which a person doing something wrong, something that destroys this delicate social net, brings all work in the village to a halt. The people gather around the "offender," and one by one they begin to recite everything he has done right in his life: every good deed, thoughtful behavior, act of social responsibility. These things have to be true about the person, and spoken honestly, but the time-honored consequence of misbehavior is to appreciate that person back into the better part of himself. The person is given the chance to remember who he is and why he is important to the life of the village. I want to live under such a practice of compassion. When I forget my place, when I lash out with some private wounding in a public way, I want to be remembered back into alignment with my self and my purpose. I want to live with the opportunity for reconciliation. When someone around me is thoughtless or cruel, I want to be given the chance to respond with a ritual that creates the possibility of reconnection. I want to live in a neighborhood where people don't shoot first, don't sue first, where people are Storycatchers willing to discover in strangers the mirror of themselves.
Christina Baldwin (Storycatcher: Making Sense of Our Lives through the Power and Practice of Story)
There will be no future unless there is peace. There can be no peace unless there is reconciliation. But there can be no reconciliation before there is forgiveness. And there can be no forgiveness unless people repent.
Desmond Tutu (God Is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations)
Forgiveness is not reconciliation. Those are two different things. Sometimes they go together, but not always. Forgiveness is an issue between you and the Lord. Reconciliation is an issue between you and the other person.
Michelle Borquez (Abandonment to Forgiveness (Freedom Series))
Anne Lamott writes that we learn the practice of reconciliation by starting with those nearest us. “Earth is Forgiveness School. You might as well start at the dinner table. That way, you can do this work in comfortable pants.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
Genuine forgiveness and reconciliation are two-person transactions that are enabled by apologies. Some, particularly within the Christian worldview, have taught forgiveness without an apology. They often quote the words of Jesus, “If you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Thus, they say to the wife whose husband has been unfaithful and continues in his adulterous affair, “You must forgive him, or God will not forgive you.” Such an interpretation of Jesus’ teachings fails to reckon with the rest of the scriptural teachings on forgiveness. The Christian is instructed to forgive others in the same manner that God forgives us. How does God forgive us? The Scriptures say that if we confess our sins, God will forgive our sins. Nothing in the Old or New Testaments indicates that God forgives the sins of people who do not confess and repent of their sins. While a pastor encourages a wife to forgive her erring husband while he still continues in his wrongdoing, the minister is requiring of the wife something that God Himself does not do. Jesus’ teaching is that we are to be always willing to forgive, as God is always willing to forgive, those who repent… While a pastor encourages a wife to forgive her erring husband while he still continues in his wrongdoing, the minister is requiring of the wife something that God Himself does not do. Jesus’ teaching is that we are to be always willing to forgive, as God is always willing to forgive, those who repent…
Gary Chapman (The Five Languages of Apology: How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships)
It seems to me that although they have a respectable sales pitch, this business of a priest having the power to let bygones be bygones and grant us absolution from our scandals is all just one gigantic scam to con loads of money off a haunted and gullible public.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
brings to mind this insight from C. S. Lewis: “We must picture hell as a state where everyone . . . has a grievance, and where everyone lives in the deadly serious passions of envy . . . and resentment.”20 This pretty well describes ideological social justice. It has no basis for love, forgiveness, or reconciliation. It destroys relationships and tears apart the social fabric. Christians, whose job is to love our neighbors and bless the nations, must recognize and reject this destructive worldview as we attempt, in God’s strength, to live out a “more excellent way.
Scott David Allen (Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis)
The manner in which we speak is exceedingly important. An ancient sage once said, “A soft answer turns away anger.” When your spouse is angry and upset and lashing out words of heat, if you choose to be loving, you will not reciprocate with additional heat but with a soft voice. You will receive what he is saying as information about his emotional feelings. You will let him tell you of his hurt, anger, and perception of events. You will seek to put yourself in his shoes and see the event through his eyes and then express softly and kindly your understanding of why he feels that way. If you have wronged him, you will be willing to confess the wrong and ask forgiveness. If your motivation is different from what he is reading, you will be able to explain your motivation kindly. You will seek understanding and reconciliation, and not to prove your own perception as the only logical way to interpret what has happened. That is mature love—love to which we aspire if we seek a growing marriage.
Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
Bridge builders don’t deny hurt. They experience it. Sit in it. Feel it. But they don’t stay in that pain. They don’t allow those who’ve wounded them to control them or constantly drive them back to anger and resentment. Instead, they allow that pain to continually push them into forgiveness.
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
Christ, too, will forgive, if only you attain to forgiving yourself...Oh, no, no, do not believe that I have spoken a blasphemy: even if you do not attain to reconciliation with yourself and forgiveness of yourself, even then He will forgive you for your intention and for your great suffering.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
When we fail to take seriously enough what our tribe has done to others, what its implications have been and are, and what steps are necessary to bring about reconciliation, we undermine the gospel we proclaim. The “good news” of the gospel is too often undermined by the bad news of evangelical behavior.
Mae Elise Cannon (Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith)
Because of the Resurrection, our natural reaction must be to get past our emotional reactions as quickly as possible and reflect on what happened in light of the cross and the resurrection and our own baptisms into that defining reality – to the life-giving and life-affirming waters of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Megan McKenna (And Morning Came: Scriptures of the Resurrection)
As the web tightened around me and began to choke the life out of me, I remembered the only One who ever gave me life was Christ. So when I cried out to him in truth and sincerity, he rescued me again, like a loving father or a faithful husband, full of forgiveness and reconciliation before a lost daughter or an adulterous bride.
Lacey Sturm (The Mystery: Finding True Love in a World of Broken Lovers)
But the essence of the process at its best is basically the same: women and men join together as equals, they get deeply honest with each other about their experiences, and through this process they heal past wounds, awaken to new realisations together, reach a place of reconciliation and forgiveness, and are thereby mutually transformed.
William Keepin (Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men)
These two poles, the unconditional and the conditional, are absolutely heterogeneous, and must remain irreducible to one another. They are nonetheless indissociable: if one wants, and it is necessary, forgiveness to become effective, concrete, historic; if one wants it to arrive, to happen by changing things, it is necessary that this purity engage itself in a series of conditions of all kinds (psychosociological, political, etc.). It is between these two poles, irreconcilable but indissociable, that decisions and responsibilities are to be taken. Yet despite all the confusions which reduce forgiveness to amnesty or to amnesia, to acquittal or prescription, to the work of mourning or some political therapy of reconciliation, in short to some historical ecology, it must never be forgotten, nevertheless, that all of that refers to a certain idea of pure and unconditional forgiveness, without which this discourse would not have the least meaning. What complicates the question of ‘meaning’ is again what I suggested a moment ago: pure and unconditional forgiveness, in order to have its own meaning, must have no ‘meaning’, no finality, even no intelligibility. It is a madness of the impossible.
Jacques Derrida (On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness)
Spreading the Gospel means that we are the first to proclaim and live the reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity, and love that the Holy Spirit gives us.
Pope Francis (The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church)
See? Only when we’ve made space for our emotions, when we’ve honestly evaluated them, can we move into true Christlike forgiveness.
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
We’re the only species that institutionalizes reconciliation and that grapples with –truth-, -apology-, -forgiveness-, -reparations-, -amnesty-, and –forgetting-.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
To forget is good—but hard. To forgive is better.            Best of all is reconciliation.
Hans von Luck (Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck (World War II Library))
I have heard a mantra lately that rings hollow in my ears: “There can be no reconciliation without justice.” When I hear that, I want to scream, “YES! AND THE DEATH OF CHRIST IS THAT JUSTICE!” All other justice is proximate and insufficient. It is because of Christ’s work on the cross that that we can heed the apostle’s admonition: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31–32). Who am I to tell a white brother that he cannot be reconciled to me until he has drudged up all of the racial sins of his and his ancestors’ past and made proper restitution? Christ has atoned for sin!
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Fault Lines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism's Looming Catastrophe)
Celebration belongs to God’s Kingdom. God not only offers forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing, but wants to lift up these gifts as a source of joy for all who witness them. In all three of the parables which Jesus tells to explain why he eats with sinners, God rejoices and invites others to rejoice with him. “Rejoice with me,” the shepherd says, “I have found my sheep that was lost.” “Rejoice with me,” the woman says, “I have found the drachma I lost.” “Rejoice with me,” the father says, “this son of mine was lost and is found.” All these voices are the voices of God. God does not want to keep his joy to himself. He wants everyone to share in it. God’s joy is the joy of his angels and his saints; it is the joy of all who belong to the Kingdom.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
I remain ‘torn’ (between a ‘hyberbolic’ ethical vision of forgiveness, pure forgiveness, and the reality of a society at work in pragmatic processes of reconciliation). But without power, desire, or need to decide. The two poles are irreducible to one another, certainly, but they remain indissociable. In order to inflect politics, or what you just called the ‘pragmatic processes’, in order to change the law (which, thus, finds itself between the two poles, the ‘ideal’ and the ‘empirical’ – and what is more important to me here is, between these two, this universalising mediation, this history of the law, the possibility of this progress of the law), it is necessary to refer to a ‘“hyperbolic” ethical vision of forgiveness’. Even if I were not sure of the words ‘vision’ or ‘ethics’ in this case, let us say that only this inflexible exigence can orient a history of laws, and evolution of the law. It alone can inspire here, now, in the urgency, without waiting, response and responsibilities.
Jacques Derrida (On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness)
The Eucharist of Christ and Christ the Eucharist is the "breakthrough" that brings us to the table in the Kingdom, raises us to heaven, and makes us partakers of the divine food. For eucharist—thanksgiving and praise—is the very form and content of the new life that God granted us when in Christ He reconciled us with Himself. The reconciliation, the forgiveness, the power of life—all this has its purpose and fulfillment in this new state of being, this new style of life which is the Eucharist, the only real life of creation with God and in God, the only true relationship between God and the world.
Alexander Schmemann
We must also deal with the knowledge streams that filter messages about the past and the future into the minds of young people. Places of learning, both formal and non-formal, must be charged with telling stories of both despair and hope, of oppression and freedom, of reconciliation and social justice, of struggle and responsibility, of fairness and forgiveness, of ethnic nationalism and non-racial solidarity.
Jonathan Jansen
Harboring enmity and seeking revenge only perpetuates the power of oppressors to lord it over their victims long after the deed was done. Thus, at the most fundamental level, forgiveness spells liberation for the victim
Walter Wink (When the Powers Fall: Reconciliation in the Healing of Nations)
His day is done. Is done. The news came on the wings of a wind, reluctant to carry its burden. Nelson Mandela’s day is done. The news, expected and still unwelcome, reached us in the United States, and suddenly our world became somber. Our skies were leadened. His day is done. We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of that final door through which no traveller returns. Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer. We think of you and your son of Africa, your father, your one more wonder of the world. We send our souls to you as you reflect upon your David armed with a mere stone, facing down the mighty Goliath. Your man of strength, Gideon, emerging triumphant. Although born into the brutal embrace of Apartheid, scarred by the savage atmosphere of racism, unjustly imprisoned in the bloody maws of South African dungeons. Would the man survive? Could the man survive? His answer strengthened men and women around the world. In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, in New York City’s Times Square, we watched as the hope of Africa sprang through the prison’s doors. His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty. He had not been crippled by brutes, nor was his passion for the rights of human beings diminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonment. Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom. When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride, as we saw Nelson Mandela’s former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration. We saw him accept the world’s award in Norway with the grace and gratitude of the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts, and the confidence of African Chiefs from ancient royal stools. No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn. Yes, Mandela’s day is done, yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation, and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet. He has offered us understanding. We will not withhold forgiveness even from those who do not ask. Nelson Mandela’s day is done, we confess it in tearful voices, yet we lift our own to say thank you. Thank you our Gideon, thank you our David, our great courageous man. We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.
Maya Angelou (His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute)
Central to our faith is John 3:3: "No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again." This passage is all about reconciliation. The deepest need of every human is to be brought into a right relationship with their Creator.
Andrew White (Father, Forgive: Relections On Peacemaking)
And when Jesus declared, 'It is finished,' He meant it. God’s punishment for our sin was paid for, permanently settled, finished— 100 percent. If you have responded in faith to God’s free pardon through Jesus, then God will never punish you for your sin. It’s finished. No more. If you screw up today or tomorrow (which you will), it’s already been paid for through Jesus. 'There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,' Paul said (Rom. 8: 1). None. God will not and cannot condemn you after He has already condemned Jesus for you. It’s impossible. God will never be angry with you since His anger was poured out on Jesus. All of it. One hundred percent. Charis: God's Scandalous Grace for Us (p. 169).
Preston Sprinkle
How can you love those who have stolen from you, assaulted or abused you, or tried to blow you up and completely destroy you? How can you forgive those who have kidnapped, tortured and killed someone you love? Yet this is where reconciliation has to begin.
Andrew White (Father, Forgive: Relections On Peacemaking)
The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, and sanctification center, where flawed people place their trust in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he has designed.
Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change)
Reconciliation is not to quickly forgive and forget, as if it never happened or we somehow are gifted with a form of amnesia. Reconciliation requires that we remember and change, but with honesty about our experience and curiosity about the humanness of the other whom we fear.
John Paul Lederach (Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians)
We are apt to overshoot, in the days that are calm, and to think ourselves far higher, and more strong than we find we be when the trying day is upon us . . . We could not live without such turnings of the hand of God upon us. We should be overgrown with flesh, if we had not our seasonable winter” (Seasonable Counsel, 694). In the days of pain, the Lord showed me how much flesh I still retain –– how prone I am to fear, sadness, worry, agitation, frustration, and doubt. Yet through it all, how wondrously beautiful are the reign of God over sin through the cross and all the gospel fruits that flow from it toward me: forgiveness, reconciliation, life, righteousness, help, true hope, peace, resolute joy, persevering strength, ears to hear the word and a heart to believe it, transformed desires that compel me and my family to follow God.
John Bunyan
Here are some words of central importance to this book: aggression, violence, compassion, empathy, sympathy, competition, cooperation, altruism, envy, schadenfreude, spite, forgiveness, reconciliation, revenge, reciprocity, and (why not?) love. Flinging us into definitional quagmires.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
A simple word of greeting, an offer of a cup of coffee on me, a smile and a hug will all go a long way toward reconciliation. A listening ear can open a wandering heart to the thought that God still loves them, and there just might be a place still set for them at their Father’s table.
Katherine J. Walden (Seasons: Reflections on Changes Throughout Life)
than the death of God the Son on the cross. Each and every sin, no matter how heinous or shameful, can be forgiven. Therefore, by his suffering and death, Christ can reconcile everyone who believes in the power of that saving death, turns to him in faith, and asks for forgiveness for sins and reconciliation
Mitch Pacwa (How to Listen When God Is Speaking: A Guide for Modern-day Catholics)
Only when you accept the bad news of the gospel does the good news make any sense. The grace, restoration, reconciliation, forgiveness, mercy, patience, power, healing, and hope of the gospel are for sinners. They are only meaningful to you if you admit that you have the disease and realize that it is terminal.
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
Reconciliation is the key to lasting and growing relationships with others. I think of my marriage. Caron and I have been together for over forty years and, through many bumps and bruises, our love has continually grown. The key is not compatibility or strength of character. The secret is reconciliation through forgiveness.
John Smed (Journey in Prayer: 7 Days of Praying with Jesus)
This last point is only beginning to dawn on us white Christian Americans, who still believe too easily that racial reconciliation is the goal and that it may be achieved through a straightforward transaction: white confession in exchange for black forgiveness. But mostly this transactional concept is a strategy for making peace with the status quo—which is a very good deal indeed if you are white. I am not trying to be cynical here, but merely honest about how little even well-meaning whites have believed they have at stake in racial reconciliation efforts. Whites, and especially white Christians, have seen this project as an altruistic one rather than a desperate life-and-death struggle for their own future.
Robert P. Jones (White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity)
What can we do when we have hurt people and nowthey consider us to be their enemy? Thereare few things to do. The first thing is to take the time to say, “I am sorry, I hurt you out of my ignorance, out of my lack of mindfulness, out of my lack of skillfulness. I will try my best to change myself. I don’t dare to say anything more to you.” Sometimes, we do not have the intention to hurt, but because we are not mindful or skillful enough, we hurt someone. Being mindful in our daily life is important, speaking in a way that will not hurt anyone. The second thing to do is to try to bring out the best part in ourselves, to transform ourselves. That is the only way to demonstrate what you have just said. When you have become fresh and pleasant, the other person will notice very soon. Then when there is a chance to approach that person, you can come to her as a flower and she will notice immediately that you are quite different. You may not have to say anything. Just seeing you like that, she will accept you and forgive you. That is called “speaking with your life and not just with words.” When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight. When you see in yourself the wish that the other person stop suffering,that is a sign of real love. But be careful. Sometimes you may think that you are stronger than you actually are. To test your real strength, try going to the other person to listen and talk to him or her, and you will discover right away whether your loving compassion is real. You need the other person in order to test. If you just meditate on some abstract principle such as understanding or love, it may be just your imagination and not real understanding or real love. Reconciliation opposes all forms of ambition, without taking sides. Most of us want to take sides in each encounter or conflict. We distinguish right from wrong based on partial evidence or hearsay. We need indignation in order to act, but even righteous, legitimate indignation is not enough. Our world does not lack people willing to throw themselves into action. What we need are people who are capable of loving, of not taking sides so that they can embrace the whole of reality.
Thich Nhat Hanh
It is important to understand that loving someone doesn’t always mean having a relationship with that person, just like forgiveness doesn’t always mean reconciliation. Reconciling, in many cases, only sets us up for more abuse. A significant part of our healing will come in accepting that not reconciling with certain people is a part of life. There are some relationships that are so poisonous that they destroy our ability to be healthy and to function at our best. When we put closure to these relationships, we give ourselves the space to love our toxic family members from a distance as fellow human beings where we do not wish harm upon them; we simply have the knowledge and experience to know it is unwise to remain connected with them.
Sherrie Campbell (But It's Your Family . . .: Cutting Ties with Toxic Family Members and Loving Yourself in the Aftermath)
I was once, I am, and I will always be my children’s father. As to those individuals who have tried so desperately to destroy the fact, I offer forgiveness and seek reconciliation. As to the institutions that have supported the effort to destroy the fact, I pray that: Lady Justice will seek the truth rather than excuse it; and that she will extol the American family rather than destroy it.
H. Kirk Rainer (A Once and Always Father)
Richard Hays has offered the following important comment on 2 Cor 5:21: Notice carefully what Paul actually says here: Not “so that we might know about the righteousness of God.” Not “so that we might believe in the righteousness of God.” Not “so that we might proclaim the righteousness of God.” Not even “so that we might be justified by the righteousness of God.” Rather, he says, “so that we might become the righteousness of God.” Our commission from God is that we as a community are called to embody the righteousness of God in the world—to incarnate it, if you will—in such a way that the message of reconciliation is made visible in our midst. And of course reconciliation made visible is something that can appear only in practices that show unity, love, mercy, forgiveness and a self-giving grace that the world could not even dream of apart from Christ.158
Michael J. Gorman (The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (Not So) New Model of the Atonement)
Forgiveness and opening up to more abuse are not the same thing. Forgiveness has to do with the past. Reconciliation and boundaries have to do with the future. Limits guard my property until someone has repented and can be trusted to visit again. And if they sin, I will forgive again, seventy times seven. But I want to be around people who honestly fail me, not dishonestly deny that they have hurt me and have no intent to do better.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life)
reconciliation through trying to understand them and their history and to “forgive” them, rather than hold them responsible for their behavior. We have to admit to ourselves that this instinctual hope is stronger than reason and reality. It is like a hope that never seems to die. It is romantic, consoling, and it is praised by our culture. This hope becomes a misunderstood waiting that appears patient, understanding, and wise. In reality, however, it is toxic, like pure poison, the poison of Medusa.
Massimilla Harris (Into the Heart of the Feminine: Facing the Death Mother Archetype to Reclaim Love, Strength, and Vitality)
What Herod realizes is that this Child and the message he brings of universal forgiveness and reconciliation with God do not offer a rival source of power and order but a radical alternative to what the classical world understands as “power” and “order.” They do not seek to replace him on the throne of his kingdom but to usher in a wholly new Kingdom, not providing “spiritual benzedrine for the earthly city” but replacing that city with a new one: the City of Man passes away, the City of God abides forever.
Alan Jacobs (The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis)
Furthermore, it might not mean reconciliation. Some breaches are restored and relationships mended, but some are not safe. They may never be safe. The other person may be entirely unsorry, and there is no path to harmony. Forgiving chronic abusers does not include jumping back into the fire while it is still burning; that is not grace but foolishness. Forgiveness operates in an entirely different lane than reconciliation; sometimes those roads converge and sometimes they never meet. Forgiveness is a one-man show.
Jen Hatmaker (Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life)
A forum where real stories can be told, in uncensored detail, and be truly heard. A forum that is not limited to dialogue alone but welcomes the consequences of asking the deep questions – where tears, outrage, embarrassment, anguish, shame, absurdity, forgiveness, compassion, healing, and spiritual grace can all come forth in their innate and flowing wisdom. A place where the heart can melt or soar as needed and the human spirit can triumph through the trials and tribulation of thousands of years of gender oppression and injustice.
William Keepin (Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men)
Jealous men forgive sooner than anyone else, and all women know it. The jealous man (having first made a terrible scene, of course) can and will very promptly forgive, for example, a nearly proven betrayal, the embraces and kisses he has seen himself, if, for example, at the same time he can somehow be convinced that this was 'the last time' and that his rival will disappear from that moment on . . . Of course the reconciliation will only last an hour, because even if the rival has indeed disappeared, tomorrow he will invent another, a new one, and become jealous of this new one. And one may ask what is the good of a love that must constantly be spied on, and what is the worth of a love that needs to be guarded so intensely? But that is something the truly jealous will never understand . . . It is also remarkable that these same lofty-hearted men, while standing in some sort of closet, eavesdropping and spying, though they understand clearly . . . all the shame they have gotten into of their own will, nevertheless . . . while standing in that closet, will not feel any pangs of remorse.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
What Herod realizes is that this Child and the message he brings of universal forgiveness and reconciliation with God do not offer a rival source of power and order but a radical alternative to what the classical world understands as “power” and “order.” They do not seek to replace him on the throne of his kingdom but to usher in a wholly new Kingdom, not providing “spiritual benzedrine for the earthly city” but replacing that city with a new one: the City of Man passes away, the City of God abides forever. This Child marks the end of the machine, the end of the military-industrial complex, the end of force.
Alan Jacobs (The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis)
But this doesn’t mean that everything about it is reserved for our future in heaven. I would also argue that a whole host of blessing and prosperity can come to us in the here and now. But these are primarily spiritual blessings—blessings like reconciliation, forgiveness, peace with God, fellowship in the church, and love. Blessings like the fruit of the Spirit, answers to prayer, and joy in worship. But if we make the mistake of redefining the phrase “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” with our own preconceived notion of what that ought to look like for our lives today in the material sense, then we’ve overlooked and hijacked the context to suit our own human needs and desires.
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
On hearing the jingle of harness behind them, they turned. Melletin and Yelena were fast catching up, both grinning broadly. "How did it go?" Ramil called. "Would you believe it: he threatened to lock me up in his mother's house if I didn't behave!" exclaimed Yelena, sticking her tongue out at Melletin. "I threw a roll at him and he clipped me around the ear. The soldiers were all about to beat him up when I burst into tears and begged his forgiveness. We had a passionate reconciliation and went on our way with their good wishes for our marital harmony." Melletin rubbed his lips. "Where's the next checkpoint, Yelena? I can't wait to do that again." "Watch it, sir: I'll report you," Yelena threatened, but she looked very pleased all the same.
Julia Golding (Dragonfly (Dragonfly Trilogy, #1))
Give up", groaned Mauricio, "or else you are a dead duck!" "You give up first," coughed Jacob, "or else I'll snip your tail off!' And then both let go at the same time and sat facing each other, all out of breath. With tears in his eyes the little cat tried to straighten out his tail, which no longer looked elegant in the least but had been bent into a zigzag, while the melancholy raven eyed the feathers scattered on the floor, feathers he couldn't really spare. But as is often the case after such bickering, both felt relatively peaceful and ready for reconciliation. Jacob thought he should not have been so rude to the small, fat tomcat, and Maurizio wondered if he might have done something wrong with the poor, unfortunate raven. "Forgive me, please," he mewed. "I'm sorry, too," rasped Jacob.
Michael Ende (The Night of Wishes)
While Nelson Mandela was the most spectacular embodiment of the ANC’s commitment to peace and reconciliation, he was not the only leader so committed. There were others, younger and less well known, who had had harrowing experiences at the hands of apartheid’s exponents and had yet emerged from the ordeal unscathed, wonderfully seeking not revenge against the perpetrators but a healing for their traumatized and divided nation. Two such were themselves up and coming stars in the political firmament. They had been among the accused in one of the longest treason trials, dubbed the Delmas treason trial after the small town on the East Rand where it was held. One of this pair was Patrick “Terror” Lekota and the other was Popo Molefe. Both spent a spell in jail when they had met legends such as Nelson Mandela on
Desmond Tutu (No Future Without Forgiveness)
Although the Civil War was an apocalyptic success in the sense that it brought an end to nearly a century of struggle and broken hopes regarding the ultimate extinction of African American slavery, it also combined new freedoms, as in other major revolutions, with shock, breakdown, trauma, and tragedy. Neither desired nor accurately anticipated by leaders in the North and South, the war dramatized the failure of the whole American system of political negotiation and compromise that had never weakened the institution of slavery but had supported democratic government for whites for over eighty years. <...> Moreover, the long-term outcome of this revolutionary decision would be determined within a context of sectional hate and bitterness, political revenge, and competing presssures for reconciliation, reunion, and forgiveness.
David Brion Davis (Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World)
Principles As believers, we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God” (1 Pet. 2:9). As God’s priests, we are to intercede for others so they will return to God and be coworkers in His purposes. Ten steps of preparedness for entering God’s presence in prayer are: Appropriate God’s Grace: Acknowledge God’s holiness, turn away from your sins, and be cleansed through the blood of Christ. Put on Righteousness: Appropriate the righteousness of Christ through faith. Live in that righteousness, doing what is right by keeping in step with the Spirit. Put On Truth and Honesty: Be transparent and clean before the Lord, desiring truth in the innermost parts and living with integrity. Cleanse Yourself with the Word: Before you come before God, make sure that you’ve read the Word, that the Word is in you, and that you are obeying the Word. Worship and Praise God: Honor and worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24–24), acknowledging Him as your All in All. Separate Yourself: Remove yourself from your normal environment, activities, and distractions. Find the place in God where He meets you by coming to Him with the right heart, attitude, and motives. Believe: Have faith in God’s power to do what He has promised and in the effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice. Give God the Glory: Confess that God is the One who accomplished your atonement, forgiveness, and reconciliation with Him, and is worthy to be praised. Give to others out of the abundance God has given you. Wash in the Word: Ask God to fulfill His purposes based on His will and the promises in His Word. Remain in the Anointing: Remain in a state of preparedness for prayer. Honor the Lord by reflecting His nature and character in your life.
Myles Munroe (Understanding The Purpose And Power Of Prayer)
Our destination or goal is not to arrive at a static, linear version of friendship where we get all of our relationships lined up just so and keep them that way for a lifetime. No, the goal of friendship is to secure ourselves to the sure, steadfast anchor of Christ and, while holding to that anchor, give and receive the gift of friendship as we have opportunity. The goal is to enjoy God together with others and, as we move through life, to sharpen and allow ourselves to be sharpened by friends. We imitate Jesus with one another, willing to face the stark realities and consequences of sin, all the while persevering in our efforts to offer love, grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, comfort, and care to one another. In doing so, we display to one another and the world how God loves and, through this, bring him glory. This is our destination, the point on the map we move toward: bringing God glory.
Christine Hoover (Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships)
CRT teaches that a person’s identity cannot be separated from the group to which they belong. If you are born white, you are labeled an oppressor regardless of your character or personal attitude; individuality is lost within the group you belong to. And if you are born white and you choose to defend yourself against the charge of racism, this only proves that indeed you are racist! Wealthy black Americans are not considered persons of privilege, but a white person born into abject poverty is considered a person of privilege. There is no room for individuality, kindness, forgiveness, or meaningful reconciliation. Even more importantly, in the purely secular application of CRT, redemption is viewed as separating a group from oppressors, not as the need to be freed from sin by the gospel of God’s saving grace. Salvation, in the radical view of CRT, is to gain power over your oppressors. Until the oppressed triumph over their oppressors, the conflict must continue. Pure Marx.
Erwin W. Lutzer (We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity)
The manner in which we speak is exceedingly important. An ancient sage once said, 'A soft answer turns away anger.' When your spouse is angry and upset and lashing out words of heat, if you choose to be loving, you will not reciprocate with additional heat but with a soft voice. You will receive what he is saying as information about his emotional feelings. You will let him tell you of his hurt, anger, and perception of events. You will seek to put yourself in his shoes and see the event through his eyes and then express softly and kindly your understanding of why he feels that way. If you have wronged him, you will be willing to confess the wrong and ask forgiveness. If your motivation is different from what he is reading, you will be able to explain your motivation kindly. You will seek understanding and reconciliation, and not to prove your own perception as the only logical way to interpret what has happened. That is mature love--love to which we aspire if we seek a growing marriage.
Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts)
Again and again people say: It must be a cruel God who demands infinite atonement. Is this not a notion unworthy of God? Must we not give up the idea of atonement in order to maintain the purity of our image of God? In the use of the term “hilastērion” with reference to Jesus, it becomes evident that the real forgiveness accomplished on the Cross functions in exactly the opposite direction. The reality of evil and injustice that disfigures the world and at the same time distorts the image of God—this reality exists, through our sin. It cannot simply be ignored; it must be addressed. But here it is not a case of a cruel God demanding the infinite. It is exactly the opposite: God himself becomes the locus of reconciliation, and in the person of his Son takes the suffering upon himself. God himself grants his infinite purity to the world. God himself “drinks the cup” of every horror to the dregs and thereby restores justice through the greatness of his love, which, through suffering, transforms the darkness.
Pope Benedict XVI (Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection)
The Five Causes We practice gratitude daily, remembering that the human heart cannot hold gratitude and negative emotions at the same time. From gratitude, joy and all other virtues are born. We practice forgiving those that have harmed us as a mode of healing ourselves. We reach out to those we have harmed, either personally or by handwritten letter, offering apology and reconciliation. We practice kindness and honesty in word and deed toward all, and especially toward our romantic partner. Kindness and honesty must always remain unified, for one without the other leads to harmful behavior. We practice humility. We never treat any others as servants or beneath us, regardless of their social or economic status. We show respect to all, and are considerate of the consequences of our actions on others. We practice our ethics in our business. Our career is a major forum for our practice of transformation, so we infuse our highest ideals into our work and workplace, always looking for win-win opportunities. We hold firm that the end never justifies the means, and teach our ethics by example.
Max Strom (A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master's Handbook of Strength, Grace, and Healing)
Guilt and self-image. When someone says, “I can’t forgive myself,” it indicates that some standard or condition or person is more central to this person’s identity than the grace of God. God is the only God who forgives — no other “god” will. If you cannot forgive yourself, it is because you have failed your true god — that is, whatever serves as your real righteousness — and it is holding you captive. The moralists’ false god is usually a god of their imagination, a god that is holy and demanding but not gracious. The relativist/pragmatist’s false god is usually some achievement or relationship. This is illustrated by the scene in the movie The Mission in which Rodrigo Mendoza, the former slave-trading mercenary played by Robert de Niro, converts to the church and as a way of showing penance drags his armor and weapons up steep cliffs. In the end, however, he picks up his armor and weapons to fight against the colonialists and dies at their hand. His picking up his weapons demonstrates he never truly converted from his mercenary ways, just as his penance demonstrated he didn’t get the message of forgiveness in the first place. The gospel brings rest and assurance to our consciences because Jesus shed his blood as a “ransom” for our sin (Mark 10:45). Our reconciliation with God is not a matter of keeping the law to earn our salvation, nor of berating ourselves when we fail to keep it. It is the “gift of God” (Rom 6:23). Without the gospel, our self-image is based on living up to some standards — either our own or someone else’s imposed on us. If we live up to those standards, we will be confident but not humble; if we don’t live up to them, we will be humble but not confident. Only in the gospel can we be both enormously bold and utterly sensitive and humble, for we are simul justus et peccator, both perfect and sinner!
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)