It Can Be Hard to Forgive

Elul 20/August 26, 2013

Five types of people are hard to forgive: One who sins in many different ways; one who repents and repeats the same sin over and over; one who sins in a sinless age; one who sins with the intent to repent; one who causes God’s Name to be profaned.

(Avot de Rabbi Nathan, 39)

For reflection: It is also taught: One who sins in many different ways—this one is associated too closely with our pain. One who repents for and repeats the same sin over and over—this one is never taken seriously.  One who sins in a sinless age—this one perverts justice. One who sins with the intent to repent—this one seeks to escape responsibility. One who causes God’s Name to be profaned—this one brings doubt to the minds of the faithful.

Which one would be the hardest for you to forgive? Why? Think of a situation in your own life where this is or has been applicable.  How did you handle it? What would you do differently, if you could?  We always imagine this difficult person to be someone other than ourselves….but, is it?  Even so, t’shuvah is still possible. 

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