Is making peace enough?
We saw, in Quote of the week 7, that one way to deal with someone’s aggression towards you is to be a peacemaker. Let’s see a small family example:
Wife: “Stop shouting. I’ve had enough arguing and having a go at each other. I can’t stand it any more. Let’s stop fighting and just move on.”
Husband: “Yeah, you’re right. Does it really matter who’s right and who’s wrong? Let’s just get on with our life.”
What do you think? Good idea, isn’t it? They’ve focused on a positive outcome that they both want and appreciate. Peace has been restored.
However, that’s maybe as far as it goes. It’s a shallow peace. No-one’s actually admitted to being in the wrong, and neither feels the need for forgiveness. Forgiveness is not even mentioned.
Why forgiveness still helps
So, why might they need the further step of forgiveness? After all, peace is restored. The fight’s over. Why not just leave well alone . . . and “move on?”
One reason might be that such a shallow peace alone is not enough. Why? Because the problem is that the solution is only half-baked. True, it’s better than nothing. But what’s left undone could still fester on, and come up again later.
After all, nothing’s really been resolved. The reason for the fight has been avoided: deliberately left hanging. It’s not gone away!
The whole thing could blow up again, the next time they have a disagreement. They’re tempted to think back to the previous occasion.
They latch on to the fact that the other person never actually admitted being in the wrong. They still blame the other person. They probably still felt deep inside that the pain hasn’t really gone away. The wound was never healed.
Forgiveness: a deeper peace
Forgiveness takes peacemaking to a whole new level. Forgiveness creates a profound inner peace of mind.
Forgiveness heals deep down. It restores a deeper, more authentic peace. It makes friends of enemies. It destroys the “blame game.” Husband and wife smile, kiss and make up, they feel good inside at a much deeper level.
As they say, “To err is human, to forgive is Divine.”