Thursday, August 18, 2016

God's Justice Is Restorative, Not Punitive

Lake Michigan, Empire, Michigan

I’m re-reading my highlights and notes from one of the best books on self-forgiveness there is – by clinical psychologist Everett Worthington (Virginia Commonwealth University). There are so many things Worthington says that I need to remember. Yes, I have struggled at times with self-forgiveness. You have as well, right?

Some find it hard to approach God while wallowing in the mire of self-condemnation. Worthington helps me by reminding me of an important distinction. He writes:

“Think about Jesus’s response to a woman caught in adultery: “Then neither do I condemn you.… Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8: 11). God is more interested in restorative justice than in punitive justice.“ (Worthington Jr, Moving Forward: Six Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Breaking Free from the Past, Kindle Locations 756-757)

God’s desire is always to rescue, release, and restore, not to add more locks to the prison cell we inhabit.

My new book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.