Thought: Those who demand justice for themselves will always be condemned. Forgiveness and mercy offer the only hope.
Jesus of Nazareth is said to have taught his followers that, if they hoped for forgiveness from God, their heavenly Father, they should be ready to forgive other people.
He also warned them that being judgemental of the way other people behave not only invites others to judge you too but also that those who are critical of others should consider whether they have more obvious faults of their own. Quite often, those who point the finger are merely try to divert attention from their own failings.
These warnings are reflected in the words of other teachers too and are accepted, in one form or another, by people of many faiths and none. They should resonate for addicts as much as for anyone else.
Whenever we are accused of a wrong, by someone else or by ourselves, we are quick to list the mitigating factors. Surely anyone who faced what we faced can be forgiven for behaving as we did. We never intended to hurt anyone. It seemed a good idea at the time. How could anyone have foreseen the consequences? The motivation wasn’t evil.
Now all of that may be true. How far it excuses our behaviour is another question.
What is more certain is that these Thoughts should tell us that we should always be ready to offer the benefit of any doubt to anyone else who has made a mistake.
If you expect to be understood and forgiven by other people then you have to be ready, no, eager to understand and forgive them. And if you believe in and seek forgiveness from God then your duty to excuse and exonerate others is even stronger.
Wrong is always wrong; this isn’t about denying evil or culpability. It’s about understanding that the weakness in other people is not so different from the weakness in yourself and being ready to see the possibilities for renewal and redemption in everyone.