by Rick Lewers

More than apologies for racial slurs

Adam Goodes
Humble and forgiving: Adam Goodes

Days after a Collingwood apology for the sideline immaturity of a child's racial slur, the club president fell into the same error at a radio microphone. It seemed like a week of apologies.

I am all for apology. Saying sorry is compulsory for any life. What is better, however, is when apology is accompanied by a turning away from the behaviour that demanded the apology in the first place. I was once told that real repentance from a Christian perspective is to take the same position as God on the matter. When it comes to racism I think that's a great idea. God is against racism!

Firstly, God says in Genesis that He made all people in His image, giving a dignity to all people that must be protected.

Secondly, it may surprise some people who are tempted to make racist comments to remember that Jesus Christ was not a white Anglo Saxon but Middle Eastern.

And thirdly, what I love about Jesus is the fact that He does not see colour and nor is He impressed by wealth or celebrity. Jesus simply saw people as those made by God and loved by God, who needed to be saved by God from all the sins they need to apologise for. People like Eddie McGuire, Adam Goodes, myself and you.

I loved the coverage of Adam Goodes' response to the controversy: corrective, humble, gracious and forgiving. He did not give the bad behaviour permission and his response was the evidence of a man who has learnt wisdom. We could learn many a good thing from Adam's behaviour.

On the other side of apology and repentance there needs to be forgiveness. While bewildered by the foolishness of Eddie McGuire's comments, but thankful for his apology, it would be equally bewildering to find in our community no capacity for him to be forgiven.

The most lonely people in the world are those who can't say they are sorry and with them, those who can't find it in their heart to forgive.

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