Saturday, August 11, 2012

On Forgiveness

Is there a right way to forgive?

It's the question I ask whenever I'm in a situation where someone is asking my forgiveness for something they had done to me (intentionally or unintentionally). Often I find myself choosing between two polar opposite responses: 1) "Well you should be! I do forgive you, just don't do it again." or 2) "Oh it's nothing, don't worry about it."

The first response does not extend grace, while the second response is too lenient and not address the real problem that is sin. So where is the middle ground? I know as Christians we are called to forgive (seventy times seven is a pretty high number) but how? What should one say?

Interestingly enough, I may have come across an answer from a movie.

In a scene from The Amazing Spiderman (and it is amazing, so see it soon), Peter Parker is having dinner with Gwen Stacy's family with the topic turns to the vigilante on the streets.

Peter is defending his actions as a public service, unintentionally disrespecting Gwen's father and the rest of the police force. The befuddled teen steps out of line when he shames Captain Stacy to the rest of the family members. As Peter rises to leave the table he quickly says something like, "I'm sorry for any disrespect" to which Captain Stacy responds, "thank you."

Thank you.

Is that enough? Two words. Eight letters. In saying that, you acknowledge that you have been wronged and that you accept the apology sincerely while not pulling or pushing to either extreme. In answering the question, I think saying 'thank you' is enough.

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