I got up this morning and realized it was Thursday. Time to get thoughtful. I opened my blog. Drew up a clean post. And sat. Staring. Waiting for inspiration to strike. Sometimes I know days or weeks in advance what I want to write about on Thursdays. Sometimes I even have my posts written on Sundays.
Today . . . not so much. =)
So I opened up my next project--editing Giver of Wonders, which will release November 1. And I started to read.
In chapter 2, a single line jumped out at me.
“Forgive me, my love.” But his tone asked for indulgence, not forgiveness.
I know I wrote those words, but I frankly didn't remember them. As I read them, though . . . it's a commentary, isn't it, on our culture today? It's a commentary, too often, on our churches. On our very lives.
I decided to hop over to the dictionary to see what the technical differences are.
Some of the same words are used in those definitions, it's true. But there are some vital differences, aren't there? Indulgence is giving in to a person; forgiveness is giving up the account of their wrong.
Indulgence is saying "It's okay that you sin." or "It's not a sin."
Forgiveness is saying, "You sinned. But the account has been paid."
We live in a very "tolerant" society, which means one that makes an art of indulgence. Funny, isn't it, how that renders forgiveness, too often, powerless? Because if people have been told all their lives that it's okay, that it's not wrong, that we're entitled to live our lives as we see fit so long as we don't hurt anyone else . . . then how can they value the forgiveness of those sins they've been taught aren't sins?
One of the greatest gifts ever given to man--cheapened. Our society has filled up on the junk food of indulgence, and now we don't have the stomach for the real feast: forgiveness. We've embraced the look of a shirt with stains rather than taking the time and putting out the effort to scrub them clean.
Just one little line from a scene I added in at the last minute when wrapping up my first draft--but I'm going to be pondering that one . . . and wondering where, in my life, in my world, I'm substituting indulgence when really I ought to be doing the hard work and forgiving--or seeking forgiveness.