Posted by: Don Linnen | 28 February 2013


The modern world grows in knowledge, technology, and capability. Is it growing in wisdom? The world standard for forgiveness is “an eye for an eye.”

Is it ironic that the modern world sets a standard based on a book written 1400 B.C.?

Is it ironic that pop culture separates itself from the Bible, but holds onto what Moses wrote in Leviticus?

The Jewish standard is to forgive three times.

Peter suggested seven times to Jesus.

Jesus upped the bar in his response to Peter. His standard is 77 times or 490 times (70 times 7), depending upon your translation.

A family in Florida is setting a new standard. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine tells their story and asks another question: Can Forgiveness Play a Role in Criminal Justice? *

Forgiveness is easy to talk about it until it involves you. “Everyone says forgiveness is a fine idea, until they have something to forgive.” C.S. Lewis

It’s too easy to say “forgive your enemies. It messes with their minds.” But there is wisdom in the humor.

Maybe part of the world is growing in wisdom, or at least with heart. Am I growing? Or do I just talk a good game when I have very little to forgive?

* Synopsis: This is a long, compelling read suggested by my daughter-in-law, Amy. The story is that of a young man who kills his girlfriend and promptly confesses to the police. Two families lose a child – one to murder, the other to prison. The girl’s parents forgive their daughter’s murderer. The boy’s family begins healing. Amazing.

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