I have heard that when we forgive it is for the one who does the forgiving. Yet you seem to say on this website that those who forgive do it for the one who acted badly. Which is it and why?

We have to distinguish between what forgiveness is in its essence and the consequences when we forgive.  In its essence, forgiveness is a moral virtue practiced for the good of those who have hurt us. Forgiveness is centered in mercy and love for those who offend us.  One of the consequences of forgiving is that you experience emotional healing.  So, in its essence forgiveness is for others.  In one of its consequences, forgiveness is for you.

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness


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