My friend started the forgiveness process to be free of inner emotional pain. He has forgiven (at least he says he has forgiven), but he still has inner pain. Does this mean that he has not forgiven?
When we forgive, all of the inner pain is not necessarily eliminated. Often the pain goes down to a manageable level so that the person can function well in life. Forgiveness is for imperfect people as the late Lewis Smedes used to say. Thus, forgiveness can work well but not necessarily lead to perfect results and this does not mean that the forgiveness process was unsuccessful. Getting emotional relief so that the pain or anger no longer dominates a person is a good outcome.
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness
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