Tips on Reconciliation

Inez: Reconciliation cannot be the same as forgiveness because reconciliation is not a moral virtue. It does not originate within a person, but is a set of behaviors between people.

Sophia: Well said.

Inez: You mentioned trust in the context of reconciliation, but you have not mentioned that word in the context of forgiveness. Can I forgive and not trust the person?

Sophia: What do you think? How do you read this?

Inez: I suppose that if someone were a compulsive gambler, I could forgive that person and then not trust him with the checkbook.

Sophia: Right. You would not trust him in that one area, but this is not an excuse to write the person off as having no possibility of being trusted in anything at all.

Enright, Robert D. (2012-07-05). The Forgiving Life (APA Lifetools) (Kindle Locations 1752-1761). American Psychological Association. Kindle Edition.

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Categories: Consequences of Forgiving, Our Forgiveness Blog, Trust


  1. Amanda says:

    Trust is a big issue for me. I have been hurt and I wonder sometimes if I ever will be able to trust again. Does forgiveness help to restore trust?

  2. Pauline says:

    This use of dialogue reminds me of Socrates addressing anyone else who would engage him. I think your book The Forgiving Life is about the deepest treatment of forgiveness I have ever seen and yet I can absorb the ideas readily because of the dialogue. I have learned a lot from Sophia and Inez. They are my instructors.

  3. Juan says:

    This is the Christmas season now. What better time than now to reach out to family members who have been crabby. Maybe we can break a bottleneck of resentment this holiday season. I for one will try.

  4. Marta says:

    Sad to say, but I had to forgive without reconciling with someone near and dear to me. He just would not and could not be in a relationship that required commitment. I think he would have been content to go on for the rest of our lives in a superficial way. What a waste! Knowing the difference between forgiving and reconciling in this kind of context is so valuable.


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