Friday, November 19, 2010

Geography of God, Ch. 16

"There is forgiveness" is another way of saying that God reigns. If that were not true, our actions would be the last word; there would be no way to unravel them, repair relationships, turn back toward God. Why do you think that, even though our very souls depend on God's forgiveness, we find it so hard to forgive one another?

Can forgiving others allay our own guilt?

"Seventy times seven" is another way of saying "every time, no matter how great the sin." What are the sins in your life — either against you or by you — that you believe are hardest to forgive? Why?

Do you think that forgiving is easier for those who believe in life after death?

Lindvall says that the idea that denying that some sins are forgivable is, in effect, denying the grace and power of God. Do you think that's true, or is the problem sometimes just our inability to comprehend God?

"We're all bastards" — or sinners — "but God loves us anyway." Can you think of any way in which this definition of Christianity is incomplete?

How about the definition of God as "one whose gentle hands this universal falling can't fall through"?

The fine line between forgiving and excusing has troubled Christians for all of their history. How do we find that boundary for ourselves?

The analogy of cleansing the air is a good one, because bitterness often does seem almost like a visible form of pollution. We aren't always aware of our need to forgive, though. Sometimes we have internalized our victimhood until it becomes part of our identity, polluting our relationships. How can we take stock of the grievances to which we cling?

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