No one condones what Greg Hardy, defensive standout for the Dallas Cowboys, did in what he refers to in a tweet as “what happened in [the] past” – no one.
For the moment, putting aside any legal and natural consequences for his actions, a question is, “When will it be time to forgive Greg Hardy?”
Some may say that Mr. Hardy’s actions are unforgivable. This writing is not to convince those peopleotherwise.
This article simply addresses a question that if Mr. Hardy’s actions are forgivable, when will it be time to forgive him? There are two options: now or sometime in the future.
Now or in the future? To look at these options, I’ll reach out to the Bible and two stories that focus on Jesus and forgiveness.
The first comes from the book of John 8: 1-11 (NKJV). An adulteress (caught in the act) was brought to Jesus. Those who brought the woman were ready right then and there to put her to death by stoning.
They said to Jesus, “‘Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say?'” (v 5).
His response was, “‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first,'” (v 7).
The accusers, evidently not sinless, left and the woman was alone with Jesus. “He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you? She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more,'” (vv 10,11).
In this story, Jesus took the “now” approach to forgiveness.
A second story comes with Jesus on the cross, “[He] said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,'” (Luke 23: 34 (NKJV)).
Again, Jesus took the “now” approach to forgiveness.
It also needs to be noted that Jerry Jones believes in second chances … in forgiveness.
Weeks prior to the latest publicity involving Mr. Hardy, I heard Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner and general manager, on a local sports station (105.3 The Fan). Here’s the story as reported in The Dallas Morning News, SportsDayDFWE.com, on August 15, 2015 (http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-cowboys/headlines/20150826-how-jerry-jones-father-made-a-friend-for-life-after-service-station-attendant-damaged-his-brand-new-car.ece).
[Host]: You’ve got a great way with people, and I heard a story about your dad – how he passed a philosophy on to you about dealing with customers, and it had to do with a brand new car that he bought. Can you tell that story?
Jones: You’re going back on me – Then, at least in our family, the entire family came out if you got a new car. Your cousins, your aunts, your uncles, your grandpas, everybody came to see the new car. It was like a new house.
My folks had gotten this new station wagon, and were standing across the street from our grocery store looking at a service station, and my father had to have somebody to drive the car over and get it gassed up and all ready to go. You’d think they would have done that, but they didn’t get into that in new cars then.
While we were all standing there, about 30 or 40 of us, the station attendant drug the back door off the car when he hit some gas pumps – our new car, and the back door was off of it…
And I’m telling you – I’m actually getting emotional talking about this – I’ll never forget, my dad looked over, and everybody was just ready to do anything, and dad said, “That guy, I’d hate to be in his shoes. It just kills him. He knows we’re all looking…I think I’m going to go over there and tell him I know how bad he feels, know he didn’t mean to do it, and when I do that, we’ll have a friend for the rest of our life.”
And he was right…a great lesson there…
When will it be time to forgive Greg Hardy? Jerry Jones, true to his character and beliefs, took the “now” approach.
When do believe it will be time to forgive Greg Hardy?