I have a friend who could benefit from forgiving her mom, but I am not sure what the best way is to introduce the topic to her. Any suggestions about how to do this so she takes it seriously?

There are two ways I would suggest introducing forgiveness to your friend. The first one is what I would call the “lighter” approach. If you are watching a film in which there is a theme of forgiveness, try to make this into a teaching moment by simply and gently discussing what injustice happened, how the forgiver went about the forgiveness task, and what the outcome was. It could plant a seed.

The second approach is to focus on your friend’s pain as a result of the hurt from her mom. Pain is a great attention-getter and motivator. If you can enter into a discussion of the friend’s emotional pain, and then let her know that there is a solution to this pain, she may listen. When you tell her the solution is forgiveness, she may balk at first, but tell her the truth: Forgiveness can reduce anger, anxiety, and depression and increase hope. She may give it a try if the pain is deep enough.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness

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