Comments: Proportionality?

As I read this, by the time I got half way through the second paragraph, I was saying to myself, "Rosemary. It is surely Rosemary." I deliberately didn't scroll down but waited until I got to the end to see.

Thank you, Rosemary, this is right on the button. Thank you.

Posted by RPNewark at Friday, 23 January 2009 at 9:27am GMT

I am strong supporter of Israel and have been since 1957. However, I completely agree with your post. Thank you for stating it so well.

Posted by James at Friday, 23 January 2009 at 3:45pm GMT

Video Games don't help.

Posted by David Green at Wednesday, 28 January 2009 at 8:28am GMT

I'm not sure all Christians have a notion that we should offer 'unconditional forgiveness' to all who have harmed or hurt us. I've always understood forgiveness to be a bridge that must be built from both sides across a divide.

If someone offers to forgive me when I am blind to the hurt I have done to them its likely to have a negative effect and widen the gap between us rather than heal it.

Similarly, if I offer forgiveness to someone who refuses to acknowledge their need of it then it proves fruitless.

This mirrors divine forgiveness, for God also offers us forgiveness which is conditional upon our acknowledgement that we have sinned and our subsequent repentance - if we are self-righteous and stiff-necked then the forgiveness God wants to give cannot take effect.

Sadly, in Gaza, there will be no bridges built, let alone crossings opened, until both sides are ready to turn from their violent ways. "All have sinned......" As a start there needs to be a turning away from the desire for revenge each time one side or the other commits an atrocity - but that's only the beginning of the road to free and full forgiveness.

Posted by andrew holden at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 7:38am GMT

"Similarly, if I offer forgiveness to someone who refuses to acknowledge their need of it then it proves fruitless."

I have known too many people who nurture a deep sense of having been wronged in the past and who end up bitter and unable to let go.

One very important element of offering forgiveness is that it frees us to move on. That aspect of it is never fruitless.

Posted by Erika Baker at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 9:14am GMT

"I have known too many people who nurture a deep sense of having been wronged in the past and who end up bitter and unable to let go."

I agree wholeheartedly with that - but I think that giving up bitterness is, like refusing vengeance, only the beginning of our side of the work of forgiveness. To be complete it has to be built from both sides - given and received.

I read Eric Lomax's book "The Railway Man" several years ago dealing with how he met his former torturer from a Japanese prison camp. His torturer had been almost consumed by guilt and sought forgiveness for his crimes but equally Lomax had been trapped by anger and bitterness as a result of his treatment. It was both the giving and receiving of forgiveness when these two men met again which set them both free.

Posted by andrew holden at Saturday, 31 January 2009 at 10:14am GMT
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