Here at PTLO we’re a big fan of the cartoons of Man Martin, as you’ve probably figured out by now. His webcomic, Man Overboard, regularly includes musings on faith, and especially how difficult it can often be to live the kind of life our faith traditions call us to be.
The cartoon above is one of those, and it’s the spark for our conversation this week. Here our protagonist has a problem with forgiveness. Which leads to the obvious kinds of questions. Such as, why does it seem so hard to forgive others? And why can it feel even harder to forgive ourselves? And what do we even mean when we think and talk about forgiveness?
Lutheran pastor, writer, and speaker Nadia Bolz-Weber has a really interesting take on self-forgiveness posted at her site called The Corners.
Once I was telling my big sister about how much easier it is for me to preach grace to others than it is to extend it to myself.
“Oh that’s just pride” she replied.
I thought maybe not letting myself off the hook was closer to…humility, I guess? But now I think she’s right. On some level maybe I think that I should do better than everyone else. How arrogant.
And in this compelling short video, Bolz-Weber talks about forgiveness as “part of a”fidelity to an evil-combatting campaign.” Makes you think doesn’t it?
So we’re going to take up the topic of forgiveness in our discussion this week. Which do find more challenging, forgiving others, or forgiving yourself? And why do you think that is? Or is forgiveness something that comes easily to you? How did you come to that place? And is Bolz-Weber right, are we fighting back against evil when we forgive those who have hurt us, or caused us harm?
We’ll talk about all this and probably a lot more in our conversation. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 14, starting at 7pm at Casa Real in downtown Oxford.