Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Today is the launch of the F-Word Exhibition in Belfast. No, don't worry, it isn't an exhibition dedicated to swearing... but rather about a word that can be a 'dirty' word for some people. We're talking forgiveness.

The exhibition tells the stories of some people from across the world who have been affected by conflict, or abuse, and their feelings on forgiveness. It is being held in the Institute for Governance building at Queen's University, on University Road, and is open from 9am - 5pm from today until Friday, and is hosted by Training for Women Network.

So what is forgiveness? Is it surrender? Is it letting other people off? Must someone seek forgiveness before it can be granted?

My current thinking on the matter is being influenced by the parable of the servant, where he pleaded for forgiveness in front of the king, who he owed a powerful lot of money to. The king was merciful, and let him off. Yet, as the servant went outside, he met a fellow servant who owed him a few pence, and he put his fellow servant into prison until he would get paid... Can this be like us Christians? Can we be forgiven a huge debt (our rebellion against God), and then hold petty grudges against others - none of which can compare to the immense debt we owe to God? Therefore, if we have been forgiven of God, then it is up to us to forgive those around us - indeed, as we pray in the Lord's Prayer: 'forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.'

I'm not saying it is easy... but it is the best way.

1 comment :

  1. Are there limits to forgiveness? Do we have to forgive everybody for everything even if they aren't sorry?