13 October 2016

Forgiveness makes no demand and is of Dao - DaoDeJing 79

What it takes for you to forgive someone? Many will demand payback. Does that not become a business transaction? True forgiveness demands not and you have the Dao with you says Lao Zi in DaoDeJing 79
DaoDeJing Chapter 79 Text and Translation:

和大怨,必有余怨;报怨以德,安可以为善;If we, by our good virtues, appease to a great resentment and yet there is still some resentment left, then how can we say that we have done well?

是以圣人执左契而不责于人。
The right way is shown by the Wiseman who had the contract and yet not make demands on the people to pay back.

有德司契,无德司彻,天道无亲,常与善人。
Those virtuous people seek co-operation and relationship, those without virtues demands their rights to the fullest extent. The Way of the Heaven shows no partiality and is always with those kind people.

Lessons Learned:

1. Have no condition placed on your forgiveness or love.
If we say you have to do this or that and then we will forgive you, then our forgiveness actually becomes a business transaction where the person earns our forgiveness by doing what we wanted. Our forgiveness actually loses its original value. However, if we give no condition and the person who we have forgiven, felt the love and have the gratitude to make a change in behavior, then is not this many times better?

We can see that Lao Zi goes beyond Confucius in forgiveness. In the Analect 14:34 或曰‘以德報怨、何如’ Someone asked,"What about repaying injury with kindness?"子曰‘何以報德、以直報怨、以德報德’ Confucius said,"Then how do you repay kindness? Repay injury with straightness (justice) and kindness for kindness".

This reminded me of Matthew 18:21-35 NKJV - The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant - Bible Gateway, where the servant, forgiven of millions of debts by his master, could not forgive the one that owed him ten dollars. The servant actually did not feel the forgiveness because he thinks he can pay back (v26)!

2. Virtues are of God and with God.
What are the right virtues? Who defines them? Lao Zi tells us it is the Dao. We know that the Dao described by Lao Zi that is eternal and without beginning is God. In fact, DaoDeJing Chapter 4 is even more explicit to say that it is the Son. See The Way is the Son said Lao Zi (DaoDeJing 4).
He who behaves likewise virtuously has God with him.

Lim Liat (c) 13 Oct 20016
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