Asking for Forgiveness

Asking for Forgiveness

I'm reading David Smith's section on Forgiveness in Honoring the Sacred EarthHonoring the Sacred Earth (I know! I can't believe I haven't finished it yet, but that's another story…) and something about this prayer really got to me: "Almighty God who created everything grant us your forgiveness for the wrongs we have done in our lives and help us to forgive those who have done wrong to us…" (p 97).

I think there are a couple things that bug me about this prayer. The first is that I don't believe in a God that requires us to apologize for anything, or that sits in judgment of our actions as right or wrong, or that we can somehow offend by our actions. I just don't.

I believe God is Life is Peace is Change is Love. You can read more about this in my posts on Neale Donald Walsch's book, Tomorrow's GodTomorrow's God. That is what is truth for me. But this first problem leads me to a second conundrum. If I don't believe in a God that judges, what right do I have to judge the actions of others as right and wrong?

I can feel that they are acting in a manner that causes me to feel hurt, but can I truly say that they are wrong? I could say that they are acting in a way that society does not approve of so they must be dealt with, but does that mean that they are wrong? What moral relativism will I use to justify my judgments? And if I don't believe in a God that judges, then what right do I have to judge my childrens' actions as right or wrong?

So… if I can't judge anyone else, does that mean that the only person I can judge is myself? But if God doesn't judge me, and others have no right to judge me, what right do I have to judge myself? To say that I am wrong, or that I am right? That I am good, or I am bad? And if I can't do any of those things, how will I get better? 

The idea that slowly percolates through is one of ideals. Perhaps, after an action I take or a word I speak, I can ask myself if my behaviour/thought/words were in alignment with what I believe to be the highest truth I hold about myself. If the answer is that I have somehow not lived up to these highest ideals, then it is appropriate to take action to correct any harm I perceive I may have caused, and to change my behaviour in the future. But not to judge.

Is it possible to leave right/wrong, good/bad behind and move into a more forgiving space where we treat ourselves and others as fragile, beautiful, fallible fellow humans who are doing the best they can? Can we leave blame behind? I need to think about this more.

Any thoughts?

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