So what does it look like?
With stories breaking daily in our world of people who committed this offense or that offense. Both on a personal level, of being taken advantage of by salesmen, or a larger level of governors arrested for selling senate seats. With all of these things taking place, how does forgiveness enter the scene? How do we work to implement Justice and Forgiveness at the same time?
I'll use the current situation with Governor Blagojevich, because it's probably near and dear to many of my 3 readers hearts. Obviously, if all they're saying is true, (and it seems to be), these are crimes that we cannot simply say, "Shame on you", and let business continue as usual. Forgiveness is not simply turning a blind eye to an offense, pretending it never happened.
I think maybe that's why we see the themes of both Forgiveness AND Justice throughout scripture. They are all wrapped up in each other. For true forgiveness to take place, we must be honest about what has happened. For Justice to take place, we must participate in forgiveness, to ensure that Justice, and not vengeance, is our motivator.
Blagojevich should be relieved of his leadership positions. He should, and probably will, spend time in "time out" for adults (jail, or prison). Hopefully he will be involved in counseling, and will find healing and discover perhaps where the source of such greed lays, and find ways to process these things in healthier ways.
That is for the courts, and those we've put in place to check/balance such powers to decide. For most of us, may we pray for the Blagojevich family and their close friends. In an event such as this, many can be hurt and pulled into the circus, and who knows where it will lead in many of their lives.
Ultimately, the goal of a Christ-centered community, is for healing and restoration to take place. And it would seem we offer that chance as a community as often as it's asked of us. Not seeking ways to "get a larger punishment" for someone who offended us, so we can feel like vengeance is ours. Not counting how many times we've forgiven for past offenses.
Like I've said before...this won't be easy. And Blagojevich is among the lighter cases we face in our world today. May God's Spirit fill us...