Recent Posts

When I was talking with a friend about forgiveness, this was her response: “I am no push-over.  I fear that if I forgive, then I become that push-over. I have to stand up for what is right. I have to stand up for myself.” I was not sure how to respond to this.  Would you please help me?

Your friend seems to think that if she forgives, then she gives up her right to justice. This is not true.  Forgiveness and justice can exist together. So, she can have the mercy of forgiveness and then ask for fairness from the other person. Please follow and like us:

Continue Reading

What is your recommendation for my helping a friend consider forgiveness when she is very angry about what happened? I worry that if I use the word “forgiveness” she will quickly dismiss it. 

You could start this way: You could start with yourself and gently describe how you overcame deep anger by forgiving someone who was unfair to you. It is important, in such a conversation, that you keep the focus at first on yourself. It also is important that you describe what forgiveness is, including that it […]

Continue Reading

I need some help in understanding your views on one aspect of the forgiveness process. You ask the forgiver to look into the offending person’s past to see if he was wounded by others, for example, when he was a child. This sounds like a phony rationalization exercise for just excusing what he did. After all, if I look into his past and see that his father gave him a hard time I might reason this way: “Oh, the poor dear suffered as a child.  I, therefore, can just let it go that he abused me.” Can you help me with this?

There is a large difference between understanding another person’s emotional wounds from other people and excusing the hurtful behavior because of this. The point of this thinking exercise is to better understand the offending person, not to find excuses for his unjust behavior toward you. As you forgive, you need to keep in mind that […]

Continue Reading