My father thinks that to forgive is a sign of weakness and tells his family members to retaliate with the fist rather than forgive. Is this helpful or harmful?
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness when it is properly understood and practiced. It takes great courage to stand in love even when another person is being unjust. And we have to realize that forgiveness and justice do work together, not in isolation of one another. In a particular circumstance, if the only way to right a wrong is self-defense, and if “the fist” is the only way to protect oneself at the moment, then “the fist” might be part of a just-war, so to speak, but then forgiveness should be considered after the “war” is over.