My therapist said that if I keep forgiving my boss for his boorish behavior, then I am just “enabling” him. I guess what he means is that I am just falling into his ridiculous pattern without standing up for myself or giving him appropriate feedback. So, is forgiveness the act of “enabling” bad behavior on the other guy’s part?
The question assumes that the one who forgives cooperates with a person’s unjust behavior. That is basically what is meant by the word “enabling.” Someone acts badly, such as excessive drinking, for example, and the spouse minimizes this and even gives money to the other to support the habit. If this were the case for forgiveness, then it would not be a moral virtue at all. It would be a vice. Yet, if forgiveness is a moral virtue concerned with offering goodness toward (not “enabling”) another person, then forgiveness must: a) recognize injustice as injustice; b) offer the goodness of mercy without condoning what the other is doing; and c) bring justice alongside the forgiveness so that the other is given an opportunity to correct the behavior.