What Does Real Forgiveness Look Like?

Gary Lamb is a church planter. One of the foremost in the country. And one of his church’s trailers was stolen. He writes this response to the thief.

I have problems with it, though.

First of all, he says he is writing a response to the thief “Revolution style.” Revolution is the name of his church. Is it Revolution’s style to be so nasty? So hardcore? Why does writing an open letter have to have a “style” anyway? And is this letter indicative of the entire church?

He makes three points:

1) God loves you.
2) We forgive you for stealing our trailer.
3) You are scumbags.

This leads me to ask: What does real forgiveness look like? Can you really forgive someone and still think they are scumbags? Isn’t forgiveness motivated from love…and can you honestly love someone you think is a scumbag?

And what’s up with the threats?

  • We are going to kick your butt.
  • The pastor is volunteering to do it.
  • We will kick the crap out of you.
  • It will be painful.
  • You should be afraid of us.
  • We will break your legs.

And after all of that, these words:

“Let me say again that we DO forgive you.”

I know that Jesus said hard things to people. And he confronted sin. However, I don’t read of any physical threats to people after he forgives them.

Am I missing something? Do you agree? Disagree? What are your thoughts on forgiveness?

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2 thoughts on “What Does Real Forgiveness Look Like?

  1. Pingback: how not to forgive « chapter 12

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