Archive for August, 2018
Because forgiveness is a moral virtue and because people of faith and no faith can practice the virtues and can be motivated to grow in the virtues, then it follows that forgiveness need not be connected with a religion. Yet, some would say that forgiveness not only is your own actions toward an offender but also your cooperation with God’s grace to bring this about. From this perspective, religion as a dispensing of divine grace would be necessary for deep forgiveness.
Each person needs to assess his or her own level of hurt and own level of offending. If each was hurt, then each could practice forgiving. If each was offended, then each can ask for forgiveness. It is important to note where each person is on the forgiving process and on the seeking forgiveness process. They may differ on these and so patience is important. Finally, I recommend what I call “the three R’s of reconciliation:” remorse or inner sorry, repentance or sincerely apologizing, and recompense or making amends to the degree that is reasonably possible. Forgiving, seeking forgiveness, and the three R’s of reconciliation should aid in a true reconciliation process.
I have reached the part in my forgiveness journey where, according to the Fourfold Path of Forgiveness (cf Tutu: “the Book of Forgiving”) I have to “tell my story”. How can I tell a story that encompasses 25+ years of abuse? The only theory that I have at the moment that wouldn’t take 25+ years, is to break it down into themes: Manipulative Lying; Anger and emotional abuse; Financial irresponsibility that put me and my kids into poverty. There are of course sub-sets and crossovers. There is also the way my children and my now deceased parents suffered (I know I need to ask for forgiveness myself here).
People in Chicago again are protesting the gun violence there. Would implementing IFI’s Forgiveness curriculum into all schools & Forgiveness Therapy into prison, anger management, drug and marriage programs help with lowering the violence there? If so what else would this help in Chicago for instance lower bullying, cyberbullying, suicides, etc?
Yes. If your proclamation of forgiveness will lead to more tensions, you need not let the other know in words. Your deeds will speak volumes regarding your acceptance of the person.