Archives For forgive

“Ongoing Forgiveness is key to the Development of a Nation, Overcoming Horrors of the Past.”

I recently spent some time in Rwanda. Both Rwanda and my home nation of South Africa had history altering events happen twenty years ago.

The Rwandan genocide saw two tribes kill over one million people in just a few short months.

South Africa saw Nelson Mandela released, the end of apartheid, and a new democracy established. The media predicted a war which never came.

  • Both nations experienced historical events.
  • Both nations used forgiveness as a tool to move forward.

Rwanda enacted many laws and engaged in forgiveness-based exercises. They outlawed the use of any “tribe” or “ethnicity” on public documents. Many of the genocide participants reconcile through revealing the location of bodies of their victims to the surviving family members.

I recently heard a leader within my organization give a great message on forgiveness. Pete Thompson shared four things forgiveness is and four which it is not.

It was a simple yet profound message, always applicable to our lives.

With the focus of NoSuperHeroes being grace, the topic of forgiveness is very closely linked.

I’ll use his points and add my own commentary. Let’s start with the “nots”.

Forgiving is not:

  1. Condoning the actions of the other person. What the other person did was wrong, perhaps even sin. With some acts it might have been immoral or illegal. Forgiving this person does not place your stamp of approval on their behavior. The reason why forgiveness was necessary is because something went amiss.

Much of what is learned in leadership comes from personal mistakes, as well as lessons learned from the mistakes of other leaders.

This is true in my own story.

I was hurt by leadership early in my missions career. There were issues of control, manipulation, and a very works oriented mentality. The smallest mistake was treated as massive, leading to feeling as if you disappointed the leaders. Perfectionism was modeled, grace was not.

During these years I had to contend with tribalism, accusation, character attacks, and many other wretched things people do to each other. At one point, I was even advised to engage in illegal activities by a senior leader in the organization!

I would like to share several tips which have helped me journey out of the pain. These tips will help you regain health and succeed as a leader.