When Jay Bakker was speaking at Wild Goose and the subject of forgiveness came up, he said something that has really stuck with me. It was true and I think it probably convicted a lot of us on the spot.
He said something like:
“Don’t forget, I’m a Bakker. I know what you all thought about what happened to my family. You were saying, ‘They had it coming.'”
Then, after an awkward pause, he said, “But I came over to your side anyway.”
Personally I don’t remember taking much interest in the flameout of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, but whatever my reaction was I’m sure it was something like, “they had it coming.” I am certain I never thought about their children or considered whether my reaction left me with something for which I needed to be forgiven.
Resolved: I will try hard to take no personal satisfaction in the failings of others, regardless of who they are.