“To forgive is not just to be altruistic, it is the best form of self-interest.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
I’m friends with Desmond Tutu.
Okay, so maybe we’re just Facebook friends, and it’s probably more like I’m friends with Desmond Tutu’s intern or social media coordinator or whatever, but still.
Recently he’s been posting about The Forgiveness Challenge. It’s something he and his daughter Mpho recently started as part of a global forgiveness project. Your 30 Day forgiveness journey begins with a precious, precious video of Abp Tutu and his daughter welcoming you to the challenge, then realizing they messed up/it was awkward, and they look at each other and laugh together. I love the candor in that video, and the joy they so obviously share together. In the challenge you go at your own pace, and you can do several days at once if you wish.
I’m only a few days in and I am really intrigued by this journey. I think there are a lot of times in daily life we mess up, or overstep bounds, or do something to someone that we say “I’m sorry” for. And there are times when we are wronged, in big ways and little ways, and we say “it’s okay”. And sometimes, it’s not okay, but that’s how we try to express forgiveness. That seems incomplete to me. My hope in going through this challenge is to understand how to forgive and how to ask for forgiveness from others.
In the Lord’s Prayer we pray that God will forgive us as we forgive those who have wronged us. What would it be like if God withheld forgiveness from us the way we sometimes withhold forgiveness from others? Hmm…