***** Jesus was a human. He gave us none of the outs that we give ourselves. He was an absolutist and he told us to be the same. Love as I have loved. Do unto others all that you would have them do unto you. Pick up your cross. The good shepherd lays down her life for the sheep. As you do unto the least of these you do unto me. He gave us not one excuse, not one out, not one bit of leeway. Any more than in loving us he might have said, hey, it is okay if you usually do not eat poison, deadly poison, but it is ok if sometimes you do. Selfishness is poison. He told us that in every way possible. We don't like the answer so we deny deny deny deny deny deny. I never thought, & I still don't think, it was ever about forgiveness, being better than, being worse than..... I think it was always about joy or suffering. And I think he was trying to tell us that selfishness, although it seems like a good idea, is deadly, slow acting, poison. Of course, I might be wrong. But every day, every study, every experience... tells me that this is correct.