The movie, Invictus, portrays Nelson Mandela speaking to his staff on the first day of his presidency in South Africa. He had spent 27 years in prison, and upon release, had been elected president of the country – the first democratically elected president. He told his staff, “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”
To a young bodyguard Mandela stated, “forgiveness is our most powerful weapon.”
Mandela recognized that forgiveness is at the heart of reconciliation. Few things are more costly and more powerful.
However, there is one thing forgiveness cannot do. It can’t unscramble an egg. It can’t make everything like it was. It cannot always repair a broken marriage, or relationship, or or partnership. Forgiveness does not automatically restore trust.
I agree with my friend, David Foster: sometimes Christians are naive. We think, – “I’ll go ahead and do this, then I’ll get forgiveness.” I’ve often been told, “It’s better to get forgiveness than permission.” Not so!
David Foster reminds us…
Understand that you’re only one dumb decision away from tearing down what it’s taken you a lifetime to build up. And while you might get forgiveness after you’ve done it, your world will forever be changed, ike a scrambled egg. If you need proof, just watch the life of Tiger Woods, and the pain over a long period of time Tiger has caused himself, his family, and those who love and admire him
Forgiveness is a wonderful and powerful gift. It gives the basis for beginning again, for moving on in hope. However, it does not solve all problems, remove all scars, erase all consequences.