Musings of Navigating The Finite remainder of life from Porchville, with the hope of a glimpse of The Infinite

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Forgiveness. . . Earned or Given?

One of the many flaws in my character is my penchant for watching sappy, made for TV Christmas movies. Yes, I know they are poorly scripted, predictable, cheap to make, and cheap to watch, but never-the-less I like watching them, even the crappy ones that I have seen before.

Last night's selection was Undercover Christmas. It was very sappy, predictable, and cheap. It did have one great moment. Tyne Daly trying to repair the relationship between her FBI agent son and her judge and judgmental husband says something to the effect of "Forgiveness is not earned, it is given." There was more to the line than that but I can't remember beyond what I wrote above. Today I did a Google search in hopes of finding the quote. I didn't find the quote from the movie. I did find a number of quotes, one of which is the exact opposite:

“Forgiveness is not given; it is earned. And once earned, it cannot be withheld."

All the quotes that I looked at portrayed forgiveness in a number of different lights.

Forgive but don't forget.

You can't forgive if you don't forget.

Men never forgive but will forget...women will forgive but never forget. . . .

On and on it went with many contradictions.

So I ask two things of my faithful readers...both of you.

1) If you know the quote I am looking for please put it in a comment.

2) Tell me your thoughts on forgiveness. Is forgiveness earned or is it given?

EDIT 12-22-10 The movie was on again last night, so I watched it again with note book in hand. Good thing I like sappy Christmas movies. Here is a closer rendition to what was actually said:

“I don’t think that forgiveness is earned. It is given. The only way this will ever end is when one of you decides to forgive the other out of generosity. When you want that more than to be right.”


  1. Interesting that I can't think of a single quote re: forgiveness much less the one you want. To err is human, to forgive divine. Is that one? Oh yes, that classic line in the Our Father: Forgive us as we forgive others. Give me time, and I'll come up with a few. I do have a question for you. Why do you consider it a character flaw to enjoy sappy tv movies? If you're not careful, you could turn into a wine snob.

  2. The quote I am after is the one from the movie itself which I think went

    "Forgiveness is given, not earned. And once it is given it can not be withheld." Exactly opposite of the quote I found.

    So tell me Old Wise Baguette is forgiveness earned or given?

    Sappy Christmas movies are easy to watch and the emotional displays and morality lessons are usually geared for about seventh grade girls. (Seventh grade boys are too imbued with bathroom humor and the uses of natural plumbing to sit through a sappy Christmas movie.) It almost seems a waste of time to watch them (especially when you have seen them before).

    Regarding my attempts at wine snobbery--a vast failure. I became interested in wines last summer after my mother died. I think I had this vague notion that I would get drunk--which having spent more than my share of time in such condition prior to 1976, I should have known better. You don't get drunk off a glass of wine. You just get a damned nasty headache. Anyhow feeling sorry for my self, I bought a bottle of wine which started a mini-interest. I like looking at wine, I like reading about wine, I like sniffing it, looking at the legs etc etc. I like buying wine. Unfortunately I don't like drinking wine. Except for the very sweet fruity wines, the stuff tastes terrible and anything beyond a half of glass of 9% alcohol gives me a headache. My favorite wine? Gallo Twin Valley White Zinfandel. Industrial wine at 9% alcohol that sells for $8 for a liter and half! Some wine snob, I am!

  3. Can't give you the quote because I haven't seen the movie. I like Tyne Daly though. And Gallo's Hearty Burgundy which is great to cook with.

  4. Tyne Daly was in a show a few years ago called Judging Amy where she was the mother of a family court judge and a family social worker. I can't remember the details of the episode, but for some reason Tyne's character whom we will simply refer to as Tyne was forced to go to anger management class because of some infraction.

    Classic Tyne Daly...she is sitting in this class listening to some wimp like me, bitch and complain about how traffic or traffic lights really makes him mad. I found myself agreeing with this guy. Right on my wimpy brother. Some one else tells of how some asinine minor crap makes them mad. Now its Tyne's turn. She starts out cool and collected telling the class of the cases of child abuse that she has had to deal with. She goes on in gory details describing this abuse and she is getting madder by the moment and then comes the coup de grace "So I have to deal with child abuse on a daily basis, and then come here and listen to you immature little twits complain about traffic and manners. And that really pisses me off!"

    I felt ashamed of myself.

    I don't have it exact, but that was the gist of it. I would love to be a dinner guest at the home of Tyne Daly married to Anthony Hopkins. Well perhaps a beer in heaven.