Excuses, excuses. and pardons.

I think that we don't make enough excuses for people.

Christ gave up his life to pardon all, including the ones nailing Him to the cross. He did this unconditionally, He did this though He didn't deserve it, He did this even though we didn't deserve it, He did it knowing full well that many would not accept or even acknowledge His sacrifice, He did all the work, not expecting us to do anything, He, alone paid the price for things that He didn't do.
He took blame, and excused us from it, he pardoned us from it.

Where, in our lives, do we make excuses for the life and death of Jesus not being the focus? Where do we not make excuses for other people, like we excuse ourselves? We have been taught, many of us, since we were young, that “[We] are Special.” Max Lucado wrote a book about it. We are convinced of it. And honestly, we are. God loves us so much that He sent His son to be our excuse, our pardon. We have been taught that we are special enough for that. We, thus, end up loving ourselves like that. Which, is by no means a bad thing. We make excuses for ourselves all day long. We pardon ourselves, attributing failure to a bad environment, or a slip of the tongue. But, when it comes to other people, we are quick to blame mistakes on intrinsic motivators. So, if I say something mean to someone, I make an excuse for myself, but if someone else says something mean to me, I don't allow them such an excuse, instead, I blame it on all the malice in their heart. In psychology, this phenomenon is called the attribution theory.

We get so caught up in receiving love or giving it to ourselves (in the form of excuses), that we fail to remember that the love we have received in the person of Christ, calls us to be the bearers of that love, giving as we have received. In the same way we have received pardon, we are to pardon others, whether they deserve it or not. This not to say that Christ died as an act of making all the bad things that we had done perfectly acceptable, but instead, that he died that his love might cover a multitude of sins, making us perfectly acceptable.

Perhaps this is what "loving others as we love ourselves" means. I love myself enough to give myself excuses. Loving others might mean excusing others in the same way I allow myself to be excused, forgiving as I have been forgiven.

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