Will It Become a Cascading Flow?
I would only add/change one word in this and say:
Every one says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have someone to forgive.
I am thinking of a man (I can't really call him a friend, but rather an acquaintance) who carries around the crippling weight of unforgiveness. This man is an angry man. He holds grudges. He has a long memory of offenses against him. These offenses grow in magnitude the longer he clings to them. For this man - I don't even think he would agree with Lewis - that forgiveness is a lovely idea. He does not want to forgive. He has chosen the darkness of unforgiveness and that unforgiveness is un-making his.
I am thinking of a woman who had the opportunity to practice forgiveness recently. It was unexpected. It was about an old, virtually forgotten issue. It turned out the issue had not been forgiven... merely suppressed and buried, hidden away, out of sight, memory and daily life. Until the one who had sinned against her, from out of "the blue," initiated and asked for forgiveness. A lot of things were stirred within her. And she agrees with Lewis. It is a lovely idea, this thing called forgiveness... until it must be practiced. But practicing it - she is.
As a pastor, a leadership coach and a spiritual director I often help people work on issues of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel.
It is intimately woven into the fabric of grace.
It is downloaded into the essence of Christianity.
I like that language.
To be a follower of Jesus is to live with a cascading flow of forgiveness toward others . . .
To be a leader ESPECIALLY means you must learn the ways of cascading forgiveness.
(1) For there will be many people you must forgive.
(2) There will be just as many of whom you must ask for forgiveness.
(3) And in all things, leaderhsip is Modeling the Way. You cannot teach with integrity and authenticity, that which you DO NOT LIVE!
So who needs forgiven?
What needs forgiven?
What offenses and memories of offenses must be "let go."
Unforgiveness is a heavy burden to carry for another year.
Lighten your spiriutal load EARLY in 2013 by taking time to live in the forgiveness that has been given you . . . and then pray for that cascading flow to go forth.
Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International