Forgive but please don’t forget

So I do not usualy watch the Grammys and this year was no different, but when I return home from work and jumped on Facebook and Twitter, I only seemed to be able to read about it.  The next morning I went online to see if I could find the performances and I was completely surprised.  Usually, all of the performances on the Grammys are not good, in my opinion, but this year seemed to be the exception.  Though the performance of Nicki Minaj moved Hip-hop back [somewhere between] 15 to 20 years the other performances were amazing.  Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt, Jennifer Hudson and more.  Seriously, if you have not seen any of the footage you should check them out here.

Anyways, I noticed something that disturbed me and I wondered how many people were as disturbed at The Grammys choice to showcase so much of Chris Brown.  If you remember Brown was arrested and subsequently convicted for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the 2009 Grammys,but his acceptance speech after winning best R&B album included no act of contrition whatsoever .

It seemed odd to me that Chris Brown performed twice and won an award in front of the woman that he assaulted.  I also realize the the Grammys are by no means the moral compass of my life but it did make some truths clear.

  • Chris Brown is a great entertainer, his performances were great.
  • Based off of his abilities and album Chris Brown deserved to dance, sing, and get an award.
  • For Rihanna, this whole night could not have been easy at all, I could only imagine.

Reality is that Grammys and music industry are built for fame and seems to be much quicker to forgive Chris Brown than most communities built for Christ are.

This is where it becomes hard for me and the place where I would love for you to weigh in.  I have not been hurt [physically] like Rihanna before nor have I had to watch the perpetrator be rewarded with the most illustrious award in the industry that I work.  I can not imagine what it must feel like to be in that place, but I also know that the Bible is clear that I am to forgive as I was forgiven.  This is where you will see me differ with convential wisdom that says:

“Forgive and Forget”

I don’t have the ability to forget nor is it my job to forget the Chris Brown’s of my life, but it is my job, as a Christ follower to forgive.  I do not know that the Christian community, as a whole, does a great job in this regard despite the fact that our salvation begins with the forgiveness of more heinous crimes than that of Chris Brown.

I would love to know some of your thoughts…


About Jon Nelson

I am just a nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody [Christ Jesus]!

Posted on February 16, 2012, in ...from Jon, Life, Random and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I wont watch or listen to Chris Brown but I think he should be able to continue performing and earning. I also think we are going down a slippery slope if we prevent people from performing in front of their victims because in hollywood we could end up barring quite a few people.

    I dont think it is really my job to forgive Chris Brown because he did nothing to me. My choice to avoid him is in regards to the fact that I believe he got special treatment and very few penalties for what he did. If I did something like that I would probably have a difficult time getting teaching jobs. But he can wait a year and then make an album that sells millions of copies.

    • Thanks for the comment Dub, I have a question. Do you forgive and forget the “Chris Browns” in your life? If so, how? If not, why not?

  2. I agree, I do not have one of those Men in Black memory eraser laser things. So, I am stuck with the memories of things that have happened to me both good and bad. We simply do not have he ability to will away selected memories. So perhaps a better sentiment would be to “Forgive and Move on”, forgive and do not dwell on the injustice that has been done to you. As time progresses probably think of it less often, but certain things might trigger the unpleasant memory, but when that happens if we have truly forgiven the person, we can not allow our selves to dwell in that memory.

  3. I think people’s ability to forgive is largely contingent on the contrition and willingness to change of the person who committed the crime. People are reacting to the fact that Brown doesn’t seem all that sorry for beating another person’s face in. I think our society is actually eager to truly forgive people, but it’s a two-way street. Tit-for-tat. Quid pro quo.

    If Brown continues to unrepentantly, brutally assault people, is there a point where we say, “Okay, you jerk, no more forgiveness for you!”?

    Nothing excuses what he did. It was an act of wanton and unprovoked cruelty and should — from anyone’s point of view — be condemned and punished. However, I think that society has the obligation to give him the chance to change. Therapy, rehabilitation, whatever. In this, our country has undeniably failed. He barely got a slap on the wrist, has obviously suffered no real consequences for his actions, and will very probably commit the same crime again. It’s a miscarriage of justice in the face of fame and money, and a sad disservice to everybody involved, including Chris Brown (though I doubt he sees it that way).

    • Paul, I love your passion on the subject of Chris Brown but I still have a question that is left form the last 1/3 of the post. The same questions I asked Dub. Do you forgive and forget the “Chris Browns” in your life (people who have hurt you)? If so, how? If not, why not?

      • If you turn your attention briefly to the road to Hell, you’ll see a paving stone engraved with the good intention, “Reply to Jon in a timely fashion.”

        I don’t have any “Chris Browns” in my life. Not in the sense of being that dire, at least. People have, of course, wronged me. Nobody has done anything to me that isn’t actually unforgivable. There are things that I have never actually forgiven in a conscious way, though. Mostly, I just “get over it” and tuck it away in the past. Perhaps it amounts to the same thing. I’m not sure. There are many other instances when things have been talked over or otherwise dealt with, and I’ve happily forgiven.

        Broadly speaking, I am more than willing to forgive most things that people can think of to do with me. As I said in my original comment, though, there needs to be some sort of indication that s/he is willing to make amends or acknowledge that some wrong has been done. I don’t feel that this is due to pride on my part (at least not entirely, I’ll admit), but rather a sense of practicality. If somebody won’t learn from the experience, then you’ll just be dragged into a neverending spiral. Forgiveness at that point just turns into willing-victimhood.

        There are things I believe I would never be able to forgive. If somebody, say, raped or murdered a loved one, I don’t think I could forgive that. Or if somebody got hammered and killed somebody I love in a car accident. Things like that. I even have a hard time imagining how ANYONE could truly forgive that kind of thing.

  4. I have a pastor friend who pointed out two basic and usually overlooked truths about forgiveness in the Bible. Since this was the only time I’ve heard these brought up, I feel like I’m overlooking something important, but I have never had anyone bring up a better argument than “I don’t think that’s right.”

    First off, the Bible doesn’t say that God forgets our sins, but that he doesn’t remember them anymore. Forgetting implies a deficiency where you cannot remember or have somehow failed. Memory loss doesn’t scream spiritual character to me, and it is usually overcome by a simple reminder to jog our minds. I am not personally moved by the idea of a God with selective amnesia. It doesn’t have that sweet smell of the Spirit.

    On the other hand, if you don’t remember, it means that you are not bringing it into your memory, making it part of you again, and this can be a conscience fight. As thenweareheirs put it, it’s moving on. With something like the Men in Black neuralyzer (mind eraser), how much effort does it take for the victims to forgive when they can’t even remember? It’s much more powerful to think that God could list everything I’ve ever done wrong, but doesn’t want to relive an offence by one of His children.

    The second truth, involves Luke 17: “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” We are commanded to forgive as Christ forgave us. Both cases the offended seeks out the offender and asks for repentance. Then, it’s only after repentance that real forgiveness can occur and relationships fully restored. This doesn’t mean that we go around with vengeful grudges against everyone until they repent, for we are still commanded to love them sacrificially in the Sermon on the Mount. It instead highlights truth that things like David’s relationship with Saul could not be restored without Saul’s repentance, and that without repentance Saul was destroyed.

    A great story of real love, real forgiveness, and real reconciliation can be seen with Steve Saint and the Waodani tribe, who killed Nate Saint (Steve’s father), Jim Elliot, 3 other missionaries, every other foreigner they found and nearly all their own people. You can see the actual, unembellished story in the movie “End of the Spear” and the documentary “Beyond the Gates of Splendor.”

  1. Pingback: Saying “N****r” shouldn’t get Paula Deen fired | Neo Soul Faith

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