says to you, ???I do not deserve to be forgiven. I do not ask for forgiveness. I do not want forgiveness. Please do not forgive me. It will be an injustice to me if you forgive me.??? Now what? Can the person forgive or should he or she respect the person???s wishes?

This question is asking what is more important: to stand in the truth of what forgiveness is or to honor a person’s own idiosyncratic notion of what forgiveness is. We should opt for the truth every time regardless of another person’s reaction. Surely, we are aware that it is not an injustice to forgive anyone. If we put it in a different context, what if some says, “Please do not be fair to me. I do not seek fairness. I do not want fairness from you.” Would you refrain from being fair to that person? Of course not. Why would it be any different with forgiveness? Stand in the truth that forgiveness is good and true. At the same time, you do not have to announce to a reluctant person that you, in fact, have forgiven him. You can demonstrate that without words, with a smile, a warm gesture, and similar overtures of forgiveness.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness