|Be transparent like a window, reflective like a mirror, so God can establish His purpose through your life.|
We are the same, yet unique.
The similarities outweigh the differences between human beings.
The differences are not always opposite or opposing views, but usually varied perceptions.
When looking closely at the disparity, we can also identify with the common humanity.
“To err is human...” someone wrote, and usually only the first portion of that quote is remembered.
When considering an opposing view, either side(s) of the argument can relate with the other's humanity.
To justify one's point of view is human.
To stay opposed according the disparity is also human.
What does the rest of that famous quote coined by Alexander Pope say?
“...to forgive, divine.”
Why do you think Mr. Pope referred forgiving others (and their humanity – errors) as “divine”?
If any of us have been wronged by another human being (and who hasn't?), we know how difficult it is to consider forgiving the person.
We question if they 'deserve' to be forgiven.
We also wonder if forgiving them would be granting them permission to hurt us again, and many other things our emotions lead us to think.
It is our human nature to desire justice; to see a misdeed corrected and our hurt and injury recognized and recompensed.
It is human nature to hurt back.
Some people view forgiveness as weakness, or a matter that doesn't result in the fruition of justice.
Some folks blame religion for the problems of society, while others recognize that religions have formed society and have explained (or manipulated) and defined (or obstructed) the concepts of forgiveness and justice.
The swimming fish is inseparable from its environment (the water), so are the concepts of God (religion) inseparable from societal ideas such as justice and forgiveness.
The inner struggle to surrender one's anger at a wrong inflicted, to release the desire to return harm for a harm done, is what the author of that famous quote is speaking to.
For those who believe that forgiveness is their primary effort, and justice is the effort of another, this is that inner struggle.
It is quite interesting that the culture that has grown around the idea of forgiveness over seeking justice also has remedies for injuries done; an earthly method to realize 'justice'.
There is a culture not represented by a political system or state, and then there is an obvious political entity that encompasses this unseen culture.
I speak of the kingdom of God, which is not represented by a physical and obvious group, yet is found within such groups the world over.
We see other cultures pursue earthly justice more than forgiveness, and we can see how they have developed and how they contrast from the effort of forgiveness.
I speak of the governments of men, whether secular or religious, that fail to capture what Mr. Pope mentions as divine.
For those who believe what is divine, we can recognize the obvious incentive to forgive:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
- Matthew 6: 14-15And regarding justice, and taking justice into our own hands (whether through government or 'rights' and human allowances), we see the teaching calls us higher from what our mere humanity provides:
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Romans 12: 17-21Whether 'justice' realized on earth will be done through a secular government, by other human means, or eventually in the heavenly courts, the disciple of Christ is called to look at the divine teaching and the perfect example of Christ...and obey it.
The man / woman of peace is called to seek forgiveness before justice, allowing the latter to come about according to methods beyond our personal will...for it is our choice to forgive.
To do otherwise is human, and to err, but to forgive is something otherwise divine.