Can fear be reduced when a person forgives?
Yes, as people forgive, they become less fearful of their own anger. They now know that they have a safety net for reducing that anger if they think about the injustice they have experienced. Yet, not all anger is reduced. As an example, suppose a woman forgives her husband for having an affair. He apologizes, accepts the forgiveness, and yet has another affair. He has broken trust and so her fear that he will continue with affairs likely will occur (if they stay together). The fear can diminish as the husband truly shows remorse, repents, and shows behavior of fidelity. The diminishing of the fear in such a case can take time and is centered on both the forgiving and on a genuine reconciliation in which trust is restored.
Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness
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[…] Can fear be reduced when a person forgives? Q. I understand that part of forgiving is to reduce anger. Yet, I am concerned about this. If I […]
[…] Q. Can fear be reduced when a person forgives? Q. I understand that part of forgiving is to reduce anger. Yet, I am concerned about this. If I deliberately reduce my anger toward the person who hurt me, am I at the same time reducing my motivation to seek justice? Q. I am trying to forgive my sister. I was very angry with her. Unfortunately, I dumped my anger on her, and now she has to forgive me for doing this. What do you suggest? Q. Please give me some advice on how I can keep the love and compassion in my heart for peers who keep repeating offenses over and over, with some of the behaviors getting worse over time. Q. What is the difference between forgiveness and acceptance and does the first one truly have an impact on the angry feelings? What is the mechanism that helps us forgive someone that made us angry? […]