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To forgive is to forfeit the high ground. I may no longer stand over you, better than you. We are touched by the God-given grave of being equal again.

That’s because central to forgiveness is the recognition that all people possess flaws, weaknesses, even evil. Recognizing our own imperfections is a path toward leniency toward the imperfections of others. If, however, we imagine that we could never have committed the same sin, that there is an essential difference of character, this may prevent the opening our hearts. It stands to reason then that one path to forgiveness is through the acceptance that we are all the same.

A contrary path is through the acceptance that we are all different. “I would not have done that, but he is not like me” may grant calmness, even openness. We can be soothed by sameness, or helped by the conviction of difference.
What may be the advantages of taking either position? When was the last time you failed to forgive someone for something you were guilty of yourself? Consider how you reacted then, and how you might have acted differently given the perspective you have today.

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