By Andy Christian Castillo
Forgiveness makes us human.
Or I should say, being forgiven makes us human. Let me expound on that concept: as humans, we can distinguish between right and wrong, and make choices based on those distinctions. We are human because we have intellect, and the knowledge of good and evil.
Although every person has different definitions of what he or she believes is right, every person has a moral code. A radical terrorist has a much different perspective on right and wrong, than an American Protestant pastor. But he or she still draws a line in the sand.
Mahatma Gandhi once said: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” But humanity isn’t good – I would say, to the contrary, that left to our own devices, humanity is evil. Wars constantly rage; man always kills fellow man. There’s no escaping reality: it isn’t like The Beatles song, and it isn’t as easy as Justin Timberlake says that it is.
While it’s a nice thought, love isn’t the answer to all man’s problems: we need saving, from ourselves.
We are saved, through forgiveness.
Recognizing that humans understand moral concepts is important in understanding what makes us human. Because we can know when we have been wronged, we are able to forgive; and reflect forgiveness and grace which have been given to us by God (of ultimate love).
On our own, we are incapable – but through forgiveness, we are able to become who we were created to be.
We are human, when we embody the Creator in whose image we have been made; when we love in the face of evil, throw off our former nature, and put on something greater.
We become something higher, and unnatural: We love, because He first loved us.
Andy Christian Castillo is the Founder of Ver・ism(s). He is a military veteran and student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, pursuing a degree in English. In his free time, he plays music, writes poetry, gallivants around the world, climbs mountains and runs through the pouring rain.