Jesus’s ideas (2): About forgiveness


By Eddy Montilla.

Whenever I think about this topic, I always conclude that the best way to understand Jesus’s ideas on forgiveness is to look at ourselves, that is, to reflect on how each of us understands this situation. If evil did not exist, there would be no need to forgive. This means that forgiveness is not an accident, but the result of our judgements on what is right and wrong. In theory, it is correct. In practice, it seems to take a different path since what we really use as parameters to judge if someone is worthy of forgiveness is how much people’s actions have affected us. If we have been hurt a lot or we have not been affected, but other people, we tend not to forgive.

    It is quite contradictory that we have made incredible progress in technology, but when it comes to human aspects, for instance, the matter of forgiveness, we are exactly as the same level as Jesus was more than 2000 years ago. A good example could be the episode when an angry mob wanted to stone to death an adulteress without even know details in the times of Jesus just because her act was against their rules and verdicts between wrong and right. And what happened? This is the moment when this person called Jesus comes with a new approach to the concept of forgiveness: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” His motto is so convincing that Jesus, himself, closed the debate on the topic. In plain words, Jesus meant that nobody is good here. All of us have an Achilles heel; all of us, sooner or later, play the part of the villain of the movie. Then, since we all make mistakes, to forgive should not be considered as something that depends on our free will, but something “cleverly mandatory” from us because someday someone will have to forgive our mistakes too.

    Jesus’s perception on forgiveness makes a clear difference between Christianity and other religions. Religious fanatics or not, “in name of their god”, many people have killed innocents just because they cannot forgive others. In Japanese Buddhism, for example, people are taught not to do bad things or hurt people, which is an important step to build a fairer and better society. “Gomennasai” (sorry) is one of the words most frequently used in Japan, which implies that it is very important for them. The problem is that the number of times you hear “Yurusenai” (I cannot forgive it) is mathematically higher.

    Jesus said we had to forgive all the time. To forgive someone will not make us “pious and good people”, and this is not the point either. We are not making a favor to someone whenever we forgive him or her, but ourselves because by doing so, we can get rid of the growing grudge that kills us day by day and do not let us live in peace. The human nature that molds our personality always have the possibility of yielding to mistakes and temptation, and that’s why it is so difficult for us to forgive. However, we have no option: To forgive or to be unhappy the rest of our lives. What is your choice?

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

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