Forgiveness or Permission?

forgiveness_permissionNot long ago I worked in a church staff setting with a colleague who approached almost everything with an attitude of “It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission”.

In his case it was his way of ignoring or skirting policy to do what he wanted without going through what he saw as “jumping through hoops” to make things happen.

Thus we constantly had conflicts with groups planning to use a room in the building only to find him and his event already there.  Or he would do something with that was in a grey area of policy and if called on it — simply shrug and say “Well, I will know better next time”, only to do the same or a similar thing down the road.

Why bring this up here?

It goes to a disciple’s attitude and ethics.  asking forgiveness

I think it falls under the category of Paul’s question — “Should we continue to sin so that grace may abound?”  Of course the answer is “God forbid”!

In some cases the violation of policy can be a form of lie — not giving those in charge all the information available.  Or a form of stealing — using facilities or time that are not “ours” to use.

As disciples we are called to a higher standard.  The disciple should never be the one looking to see “what we can get away with”.  When we are looking for ways to get close to the edge without going over we are not exhibiting the type of above reproach behavior that should characterize one following Jesus.

While discussing this in a group recently one of the group members suddenly raised this question —

“Could you imagine an instance in which Jesus would say — better to ask forgiveness than permission?”

The very statement implies a knowledge that we know there is something about the action requiring forgiveness.

Better to never be in the position of needing forgiveness in the first place…….


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