27 July 2010

Real Forgiveness

Clive Staples on one way we can learn to forgive others and shed the inveterate self-justifications that flood our hearts when we ourselves fail and need forgiveness--
[One must] really and truly believe in the forgiveness of sins. A great deal of our anxiety to make excuses comes from not really believing in it, from thinking that God will not take us to Himself again unless He is satisfied that some sort of case can me made out in our favor. But that would not be forgiveness at all.

Real forgiveness means looking steadily at the sin, the sin that is left over without any excuse, after all allowances have been made, and seeing it in all its horror, dirt, meanness, and malice, and nevertheless being wholly reconciled to the man who has done it. That, and only that, is forgiveness, and that we can always have from God if we ask for it.
--C. S. Lewis, 'Forgiveness,' in The Weight of Glory, 134-35

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