To err is human, to forgive divine

Where in the Bible is the verse that says it is human to make mistakes but it’s divine to forgive them?  What does it mean?

You’re probably thinking of the old saying that it is human to err but it is divine to forgive. It means simply that when we make mistakes or do wrong we are acting like human beings—but when we forgive others, then we are acting like God, who is always willing to forgive us. Although this saying isn’t found in the Bible, it does summarize an important truth from the Bible–or actually two important truths.

The first is a truth about ourselves: We are sinners, and we always tend to do wrong. As the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

The other truth is a truth about God: God loves us and stands ready to forgive us when we truly turn to Him in repentance and faith.

How do we know this? We know it because God sent His Son into the world to make our forgiveness possible. By His death on the cross, Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins–totally and completely. The Bible says that in Christ “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association UK

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How do you forgive someone when they have done wrong to you?  How do you differentiate a “mistake” from an “intentional action of disrespect”?  And should you even differentiate between the two?

How and should.  The mechanics of God.

Right now I am finding “forgiveness” is not that relevant.  What does “forgiving one who has wronged me” actually mean?  What is “life beyond” the forgiving meant to mean for me and that person?  Whose benefit is this all for … mine … theirs .. both .. neither … ?

And might my (perceived) credibility as a “Christian” be in their somewhere?  Because right now I am finding something else helps:

Shit happens helps.

Shit Happens does not require me to ponder the meaning of God or forgiveness or the sin or the sinner.  Shit Happens releases me from the complications of the how and should.  Shit Happens does not even require any learning to take from this “episode”.  With Shit Happens I become neither a better nor worse “me” …  But nor do I have to live the guilt … self-analysis … ponderings … time (all that time!) … figuring out the “Christian dynamic”.

Shit happens.  Move on.

All it takes is for me to believe and act on that.

And I do and am.  It is liberating.

And I am beginning to think more and more that (as with so much man-made-religion) being a (man-defined) Christian comes with a lot of man-made-non-God-stuff-baggage.

Shit happens.  Move on.

(do I hear an “amen”?)



11 thoughts on “To err is human, to forgive divine

  1. “The first is a truth about ourselves: We are sinners, and we always tend to do wrong.”

    Right here, Paul. This is what’s wrong with religious belief even in guise of loving ‘soft hands’.

    This is a fundamental lie. It is a pernicious and perverted religious Christian lie. It is a powerful, multi-generational, religious meme that causes a huge amount of unnecessary suffering, shame, and emotional dysfunction when believed to be true. This is the ‘gift’ the life-denying, death cult called Christianity brings to the world and sustains as a fundamental tenet of it. It ain’t love, Paul. It’s a damaging lie.

    “How do we know this?”

    Good question. Let’s look for evidence, shall we? Oh, my. We don’t ‘know’ this at all. In fact, what we know stands contrary to and in conflict with this meme. Far too many of us simply believe it to be true because we’ve been told it is true by nice people, by people who think well of themselves, who think they are loving people, by those who don’t think about how damaging this belief is to real people in real life and who simply do not care to find out if it is actually true. It’s so pious, you see.

    It’s not true, and there are reams and reams of childhood development studies that cross all kinds of cultural and linguistic and religious and racial and geographic and age and gender divides, reams and reams of studies in psychology and psychiatry and populations studies that reveals this meme to be factually wrong.

    People are not born ‘broken’. They are born with a biology that uses reciprocity as a means to an end. On this biological basis, we build moral and ethical models of the environments we inhabit. And then we function within these worlds. It has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘sin’, with some inherited sense of needing redemption. We inherit no such feature. That is pure, unadulterated religious crap, a necessary lie, an intentional deception to sell the need for Christianity. It is not true.

    Do Christians care it’s a lie? Do Christians ever seriously question this kind of bigoted anti-human assumption, question their personal role in spreading its falsehoods, their personal responsibility teaching children how to be emotionally dysfunctional on the basis of this lie because they consider it pious to do so? Seriously? Piety over children’s welfare? SERIOUSLY!!!!?

    Therein lies the demonstration of just how revolting religious belief is in action to those of us free of empowering its damaging and incorrect fundamental tenets but who have to keep trying to clean up the mess you help make in the name of ‘love’. That isn’t love, Paul: it’s selfish and stupid behaviour.


      • Irony? Hmmmm.
        It is either multiple collective atheist stupidity or maybe … just maybe my repeated observation that your posts usually contain so much torturous ambiguity and a general lack of integrity with regard your Christianity/non-Christianity that people such as Tildeb (and I) have the really crazy notion that not so deep down you are still a god follower/Jesus believer and you have worked extremely hard to build this ridiculous facade.
        I wonder why this is, Paul?


        • The different colours sometimes means someone else is being quoted that Paul doesn’t agree with and sometimes its means it needs highlighting because Paul agrees with it. Rarely is the difference worthy of being highlighted!

          My point is that the sentiment requiring the need for redemption because of an INHERITED flaw is fundamental to Christianity regardless… and that this idea is both perverted and pernicious to believe in such anti-human nonsense. It stands contrary to knowledge. Not that people like Paulfg seem to care much about what is true if incorporating it means it interferes with promoting the disguised apologetics. None of my criticism, I will note, was addressed – it is a central tenet, after all – but waved away with the introduced notion that somehow I don’t grasp irony and that THAT is the problem. It’s not. What it is is an absolutely typical and tedious tactic of religious apologetics, of which Paulfg is a member working hard to try to disguise as promoting ‘love’.


          • This is the impression I have. Yet, as I mentioned, for some unspecified reason a simple open and honest statement regarding his position on this has never been forthcoming.
            Of course he is in no way obligated to make any such statement. After all, who the hell are we to make such a demand? All said and done, it’s his blog.
            However, there can, in all honesty, be no genuine complaints from Paul if the content and tone of his posts all seem to point in the same direction.
            If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …. even if the walk is a bit wobbly and the ”quack” somewhat waterlogged …. it is still a damn duck!


            • Gentlemen. Sorry to eavesdrop on this side-bar. Just that your entrenched beliefs remind me again and again of the entrenched beliefs of those you wish to “out”. I can’t help but wonder why entrenched beliefs must be so divisive. They are – after all – only beliefs, And beliefs change. Unless you will not allow that to happen.

              (which brings the point I make full circle)


            • Indeed! And I hope that your beliefs change accordingly.
              I too wonder why such beliefs are so divisive. Total mystery.
              Tell you what, Paul, why don’t you take a trip to Syria, interview a few Muslims, and then get back to us, okay?
              In the meantime if you could see your way clear to actually explaining your position in an unambiguous way it would really help a lot to clear up any misunderstanding.
              Thanks, awfully.


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