I’ve been sitting on this post for about a month. Some of you might be asking, “what do I mean when I say cheap forgiveness?” Well, have you ever offended someone, you say you’re sorry; however the person says they forgive you, but then proceeds to puff themselves up to belittle you, when in reality, they negate their even saying, “I forgive you.”
Let me give you a perfect example of what cheap forgiveness is. I did something to a person (that was unintentional), and I said that I was sorry (and really meant it). The person says, “I forgive you, but do you know who I am? You need to respect who I am; nobody talks to me that way, and you have a lot of nerve offending me.” To me, that’s like saying, “I don’t forgive you because you’re beneath me.” What we need to understand is that cheap forgiveness is really a pride issue. Of course we know that pride is sinful.
You’ll also find that those who are very skillful in cheap forgiveness are real quick to write people off. Some traits of those who are masters in cheap forgiveness:
- They will feel they are better than you and they don’t have to accept your apology
- They have a strong tendency to compare themselves to you (ensuring they are better than you)
- They could care less if you’re going through, you’re to understand who they are (if they have a title next to their name, their title is to be revered).
- They want the world to stop for them when they’re going through (this ties back to #3)
- They are too spiritual for their own good (in essence, they’re promoting themselves and their status in the world/church). What am I talking about? I’ll use an example: if you’re helping someone who’s going through something, you are real quick in being harsh with them and then it becomes condemnation to the person you’re helping (all under the guise of “thus saith the Lord”).
- They live in a glasshouse and they will constantly throw stones at other people. They make you the poster child so you don’t look into their glasshouse (refer to my blog entitled The AMCC – Part 4: The Poster Child)
- They love sermons that focus on “getting rid of people who are negative.” They don’t take into consideration whether a person is going through or just being negative. Translation: those sermons satisfy their flesh.
- Last, but definitely not least, they love to stew on the BUG syndrome of Bitterness, Unforgiveness and Grudges when somebody hurts them (even though the person wronged them asked for forgiveness). They know they can easily forgive them, they don’t want to forgive or they want to forgive on their own terms – in short, they want the person who wronged them to bow down to them!