How do I stay motivated to forgive? It is hard work. I sometimes feel like giving up. What can you offer to me to keep me going when I want to stop?

You are in good company when you say that forgiveness is hard work. Aristotle said the same thing about growing in any virtue….and that was about 3,500 years ago. It has not become any easier to persevere in the virtues, especially forgiveness. As I point out in a recent blog (What Is a Good Society?), it becomes even more difficult to persevere when our own local communities and our larger society de-emphasize the practice of forgiveness.

With all of that said, I recommend three things:

1) Be aware that you have a strong will. Put this into practice. If you were engaged in a workout regimen, you would need this kind of will. If you were studying for an exam in school or finishing an important project at work, you would need this kind of will.

2) Find a “workout buddy,” someone with whom you can openly discuss your striving to persevere in the virtue of forgiveness. Mutual support can be very beneficial to enhancing the strong will.

3) Finally, consider establishing a Forgiving Community, a small group that gets together regularly on our??Forum??to discuss the perplexing and challenging questions of forgiveness. Such support can lead to deeper insights and strengthen the will. You can meet together virtually and/or physically to discuss the issues most important to your group.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness