Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Lesson in Forgiveness From Tom Crean

Last Sunday the Indiana Hoosiers narrowly defeated the Michigan Wolverines to capture their first Big 10 title in twenty years. This happened after the game:

Apparently, Tom Crean holds Jeff Meyer partially responsible for the wreckage he inherited when he took the position at IU. He was clearly wrong in confronting Meyer in such a way, especially after such an important game.

Crean has apologized to the Wolverines assistant. I’m glad that he apologized so quickly after the incident and not in response to a media firestorm. It’s great that he apologized.


He also said this:

We discussed a couple of things and I apologized. In retrospect, I wish I had never addressed anything after the heat of battle in a game, but I did and we move on. End of story…

It is likely that what Crean is saying is, “Let’s not continue to cover this in the media”. And that is probably a valid point. But I found something in his apology that I see occasionally in my own heart.

I mess up sometimes. I mess up as a follower of Christ, as a husband, a father, a pastor, a friend, and anything else you could add. And when I say “I mess up” I mean that I rebel against God and commit odious sin that caused Jesus to hang on a cross. When I sin as a believer the Holy Spirit convicts me. In my better moments I then apologize and confess.

However, it can be really tempting when asking for forgiveness to assume that your apology is the end of the story. There are times when we must reap the consequences of our sin. We must allow the other person to feel the weight of our sin against them. We ought not let ourselves off the hook too easily. Of course forgiveness needs to happen whenever we seek forgiveness. But restitution also needs to happen. And sometimes that takes time.

Just because it is “end of story” on your side does not mean that it is the end of the story on the side of the one you have offended.

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