Archive for February, 2021

I would like to know and learn more about forgiveness. What self help books and resources can you suggest? I have been on my own forgiveness journey for a while now. The biggest challenge has been learning how to forgive my husband fully for hurting me and my family.

I would recommend any one of these 3 self-help books, which describe our Process Model of Forgiveness, which has been scientifically-tested and found to be effective:

Forgiveness Is a Choice (2001)

The Forgiving Life (2012). This is my most in-depth self-help book because it links forgiving to the moral virtue of agape love. This book is a Socratic dialogue between two women.

8 Keys to Forgiveness (2015)

I wish you the best on your healing journey.

If someone has frustrated and offended me and I choose silence because I am afraid to choose dialogue and confront him, is this actually forgiveness on my part? Is it true forgiveness? 

First, do you commit to doing no harm to the other? If yes, this is the beginning of forgiving.  Do you see the inherent worth in the other, not because of what was done, but in spite of that?  This, too, is part of forgiving.  Do you wish the other well?  This is part of forgiving as the late Lewis Smedes reminded us in his book, Forgive and Forget.  The silence itself is not necessarily forgiving. Why?  I can be silent with hatred in my heart.  To forgive is to have a change of heart toward the offending person (as the philosopher Joanna North said in the book, Exploring Forgiveness, 1998).

Does forgiveness come from within us? Is it innate or just a learned characteristic? I wonder what Christianity has to say about this?

I doubt that we are born with forgiveness in our heart because of the Christian idea of original sin.  According to Aristotle, we have the **capacity** or the **potential** to develop in the moral virtues, but it takes effort to grow in these virtues. Christianity, I think, would agree with this idea of potential because, according to the Hebrew scriptures, we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

How can I bring forgiveness resources to schools?

We have developed Forgiveness Education Curriculum Guides for teachers and parents. These guides run from pre-kindergarten (age 4) through the end of high school (age 18). All of these guides are described here on our International Forgiveness Institute website, in the Store section. You can read some of our scientifically-tested school programs here as well by going to the Forgiveness Education section. At the dropdown menu, select Research. That will bring you to a page with some of our Forgiveness Therapy research (presented first) and our Forgiveness Education research. I am here to help if you want to approach schools on this vital issue of forgiveness education.