Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Sin and Forgiveness Resume . . .

I have found myself circulating my resume again to a variety of places, including places connected to the church. Resumes are funny things, they are but a two-dimensional, snap shots of who we are. And not just any version of who we are, but who we are at our best. 

One of the standard interview questions is, "Why are you best for this job?"  I really want to answer that, "Well, I really don't have the information to answer that. I don't know anything about the other candidates and unless I believe I am the best person in the whole world for this job, which is called megalomania, I really can't say." 

I have never said that in an interview, but I'd love to.

Every week at church, we say the Lord's Prayer.  A key phrase in the prayer is "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us."  What if we had a sin resume, where we did indeed make a list of our sins and those we have forgiven (some may say this is a critical part of the Twelve Step programs)? Some versions of the Lord's Prayer use the word debts and debtors. But you could argue that a Debt Resume already exists, it is called a credit report, but I digress.

One of the great challenges for those in Christian leadership and probably any visible role where faith or morals is expected is to live an authentic life. It is too easy to simply try to live the veneer life, that is try to live a life just for show and for other people. Authentic leadership and living is not easy, and I think that having a sin and forgiveness resume might just help.


matt frizzell said...

I like your reflections, Todd. We non-evangelicals don't confess our sins and evangelicals who take sin seriously often confess them as a part of their religious veneer. They don't really confess their sins to those they've wronged, only to God, who is obligated to forgive them due to atonement theory. Jesus didn't bleed out for nothing.

The whole practice of confession and it humility, which accompanies sharing our sins seems so lost on Christianity today. Perhaps authenticity is a way to reclaim that humility. I certainly hope so.

Todd said...

I guess I'm just wondering how one can do hiring and human resource items based on calling and a recognition that we are both sometimes amazing and sometimes broken creatures.

Yes the practice of confession is lost and did we ever have it for the institution?

Anonymous said...

Hey Todd,as an Episcopalian, I define myself as non-Evangelical, and it is part of our tradition to confess our sins. No one has to reveal their sins publicly, some have, but it's a chance to ask forgiveness for "what we have done or what we have left undone". Having had confession as part of my religious life, I view it as a moment to be with God and remind myself that I am forgiven, still a child of God. To Matt, I will only say that based on what we ask for in our confessions (see BCP for the prayers), it's not a veneer. I don't feel mechanical when I recite them because it's preparation for coming to the Lord's Table and why I go there. God is merciful and accepts me for who I am.
Regarding your blog Todd, I agree. Compassion is sometimes lacking to an extreme in HR.

Todd said...

Anon, thanks for your feedback. I should look at the Book of Common prayer again to see how confession is handled in your tradition. Of course Catholics have a strong tradition there as well.

Do you think Episcopalians have as much a tradition of coporate confession?