By Robert J. Tamasy
想一想神如何饒恕我們。耶穌在主禱文當中，特別強調饒恕的重要。「免我們的債， 如同我們免了人的債。 不叫我們遇見試探； 救我們脫離凶惡 ( – 或譯：脫離惡者)。 因為國度、權柄、榮耀，全是你的， 直到永遠。阿們」 ( – 有古卷沒有因為…阿們等字)！ 「你們饒恕人的過犯，你們的天父也必饒恕你們 的過犯； 你們不饒恕人的過犯，你們的 天父也必不饒恕你們的過犯。」(馬太福音6章12-15節)
不饒恕種下苦毒的根。有情緒是人之常情，但是饒恕能幫助我們遠離情緒的癌症。「一切苦毒、惱恨、忿怒、嚷鬧、毀謗，並一切的惡毒( – 或譯：陰毒)，都當從你們中間除掉；並要以恩慈相待，存憐憫的心，彼此饒恕，正如上帝在基督裏饒恕了你們一樣。」 (以弗所書4章31-32節)
勞勃．泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長，這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業：箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」（Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace）；他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」（The Heart of Mentoring）他的雙週部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com
文章一開始提到「你最後一次原諒饒恕傷害你的人是甚麼時候？」分享自己的狀況和經驗。 最後一次你到人面前請求饒恕是甚麼時候？你得到甚麼樣的回應？要請求別人或是一個團體的饒恕是一件很簡單的事情嗎？ 你最近是否在饒恕與不饒恕當中掙扎？你是否覺得自己不面對不行了？請分享自己的經驗。 知道神饒恕我們對祂做的錯事和我們的罪，是否有幫助我們能饒恕其他人或是請求別人饒恕我們？
FACING THE FORGIVENESS CHALLENGE
By Robert J. Tamasy
When was the last time you forgave someone for a wrong they had done to you? When was the last time you went to someone else and asked for their forgiveness?
These can be challenging questions, because among the many things we are asked to do in today”s business and professional world, forgiving and being forgiven are often among the most difficult. So difficult, in fact, many people choose to avoid them entirely. We hang onto grudges and nurse hurts rather than attempting to reconcile relationships. Instead of requesting forgiveness, even if we realize we have said or done something wrong, we ignore it, hoping the offending party will forget over time.
C.S. Lewis, one of the great thinkers of the 20th century, summed it up well when he observed, “Everyone thinks that forgiveness is a lovely idea, until he has something to forgive.” He might well have been saying that when it comes to forgiveness, it is more blessed to receive than to give.
Veteran consultants and executive coaches know a recurring issue their clients must confront involves forgiveness. Failure to forgive can destroy partnerships, leadership teams, even entire organizations. It might range from something simple, such as unkind words, to doing something in anger that we later regret, to total failure to fulfill a major business commitment.
It can be easy to say, “forgive and forget,” but extremely hard to do. Often, to forgive feels like letting someone off the hook for wrongdoing without making amends. Instead, we decide never to forget the harm they have done to us. The problem is, we can become victims of our own unwillingness to forgive. Offending parties may not be aware of the pain we harbor, they may not care, or we may have lost contact with them, leaving no opportunity for reconciliation or restitution.
What then should we do about forgiveness? The Bible offers sound advice on this matter:
Be willing to forgive even more than necessary. Talking to His followers, Jesus dismissed the “eye for an eye” vengeance approach for correcting wrongs. Instead, He urged being the “bigger person” in the conflict. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well…” (Matthew 5:38-40).
Consider how much God has forgiven us. In offering His model prayer as a guide, Jesus put special emphasis on forgiving others. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…. For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:12-15).
Failure to forgive can plant seeds of bitterness. Even if feelings are justified, being able to forgive can free us from a form of “emotional cancer.” “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
© 2017. Robert J. Tamasy has written Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace; Tufting Legacies; and coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring. His biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.
Reviewing the opening questions, when was the last time you forgave someone for a wrong they had done to you? What were the circumstances, and how did you go about forgiving that person? When was the last time you went to someone else and asked for their forgiveness? What kind of response did you receive? How easy was it for you to ask that individual – or group – to forgive? Are you presently struggling with circumstances in which forgiveness is needed? Have you reached a point where you believe that you should take steps to seek resolution, in one way or another? Explain your answer. How should an awareness of how much God has forgiven us about our own wrongdoings toward Him – our sins – affect our thinking about forgiving someone else, or seeking their forgiveness?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Genesis 50:15-21; 1 Kings 8:47-52; Matthew 18:23-35; Mark 11:25; 2 Corinthians 2:10