Thursday, January 17, 2013

Proactive Forgiveness

About a year ago, ESPN fired one of its writers for writing an insensitive headline about NBA star Jeremy Lin.  The writer, Anthony Federico, said the headline was a mistake and he never intended to insult the famous basketball player.  He lost his job none-the-less.

Hearing about Federico’s troubles, Lin’s family contacted the writer.  Lin wanted to meet Federico and buy him lunch.  It took a while to fit into the star’s schedule, but the two met and all was forgiven.

Federico described the meeting in saying, “The fact that he reached out to me…The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule. . . . He didn't have to do that.  We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation.  We talked about our shared Christian values and what we're both trying do with this situation . . .We didn't talk about the headline for more than three minutes."

It is odd that Lin went out of his way to buy lunch for the guy who insulted him.  That isn’t how apologies usually work.  Most would think that Federico should have offered to take the star out as a way to pay for damages.  But, Jeremy Lin sees things differently.  His Christian values don’t give him the right to wait around for wrong doers to make things right.

Lin’s Christian values come from the teachings of Jesus Himself.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go to them…”  According to Jesus, those who have been wronged share the responsibility of reconciliation.  Jesus’ people seek out their wrong doers with the intention of making things right and with an eagerness to forgive.

As you go through the coming week, be eager to forgive.  When someone wrongs you, let them know and then let it go.  Approach all you do with an intentional lifestyle of forgiveness.  As you do, those around you may be shocked to the point that it changes headlines.            

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