The Art of Forgiveness

In John 22-23, Jesus says to his disciples,  if you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

I would suggest that Jesus believed that when confronted by a dilemma, that requires contrition, to achieve a positive resolution, forgiveness needs to occur. Why is this so?

I would argue that disagreements when both people do not actively seek to resolve the issue will see the problem continue to linger and sometimes even spiral out of control. That is why the first step in any conflict that is starting to escalate is to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. This I consider assists in creating an opportunity for a successful outcome.

The second step once you have detached yourself from the scene is to reflect on the circumstances, owning your contribution to the problem and formulating strategies that will help you move forward with the other person. Until you begin to do this you can’t even contemplate reaching a solution.

The final step is to set up a meeting with the person to reconcile your differences over the dispute which escalated and now requires both people to forgive one another. This I feel necessitates both parties to strive for a compromise where both their needs can be met otherwise you are back to square one. Jesus offered the best solution that is forgiveness of one another for failing to reach an agreement in the first place.

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