I saw this quote recently off Ting Ting’s blog and it spurred some thoughts in my mind.

“If Satan reminds you about your past, remind him about his future.”

No condemnation for those who are in Christ right? That is because we have been offered forgiveness by the blood of Christ. What is forgiveness to you? It seems like a sort of reset button to me. It allows us to start on a clean slate. Actually to be frank, when I first started out as a Christian, I though forgiveness was no big deal. It was something like a tool that allows this sinner into heaven. Cause it is common sense that no human with sin on Him is allowed to enter the perfect place. Hence this forgiveness is a sort of shower that keeps cleansing us. And we have to keep asking for forgiveness because we never know when we will die. If we died with an unrepentant heart, we may just fail to qualify for entry into heaven. Basically in simple terms, it is more of an afterlife consideration.

However, recently I just had a change of worldview. Forgiveness is as relevant in our life on earth as much as it is relevant for life in heaven. Have you ever done something so bad that you just want to press the reset button? Just like if a painting have gone awfully wrong, we can always tear up the paper and repaint. If a computer is screwed, we can reboot; in extreme case, we can reformat. Even a badly scored exam can be retaken. What about a damaged human life? The previous examples are all concerning objects, but what sort of a “RE-verb*” can we use to fixed the damaged human life?

I believe forgiveness is the key. It is the reset button for the damage that one human did to another of its kind. It is fundamentally used to repair the hurt caused, the brokenness in the relationship. And obviously, all hurt must be caused when we are still on earth, not in heaven. People desire a reset very much. Just like how people migrate to other countries to start on a clean slate, how people celebrate New Year, and how people changes jobs, life stations and environments. It is all about finding new hope in a unblemished record book. Nothing is known about them, nothing is held against them. Its a new chance to set things right.

Well, we all know that with limited amount of cash, chances and common sense, we cannot keep changing environment. Eventually, we just have to put up with mistakes. These however can be washed away with the reset button of forgiveness. However, this leads us to a problem. How can an imperfect human being dispense perfect forgiveness? This leads me to pessimistic thinking of that the age old idea “forgive and forget” is just a beautiful but empty notion. We all know that things cannot be the same ever again. Some hurts cannot be erased, some scars are permanent. How do we account for that portion? Even the church is not perfect, since imperfect people make up the church. A number of people do leave church not because they wish to leave God, but because they feel that they have screwed up so much in that church that they only way to move on is to change a church environment because of the stigma that is attached to them. Sad, but it is true. It is hypocritical because Christians are supposed to be a forgiving lot, but then at the same time it is understandable because we are an imperfect lot as well. God is supposed to be the answer in this gaping hole problem. I can understand how He can completely and perfectly forgive us for the sins we done against Him since the sin is committed against him. But how does He helps us to completely and perfectly forgive the people that have hurt us, and vice-versa-lly*, to help the people we have hurt to completely and perfectly forgive us when He is not directly involved?

In the words of a typical Singaporean:

So How?

*imaginary words

Please let me press the reset button.