Tagged: “break free from the past”

Suppose that of your 20 guideposts in your Process Model of Forgiveness, you had to eliminate one of them. Which would that be?

I would prefer to keep all 20.  Yet, since you asked, I probably would eliminate the first guidepost, the one that asks people if they have been denying their anger.  Even if they had been denying the anger, this tends to lessen as people come to realize that they have a safety net for that anger, and that safety net is forgiveness.  So, even if a person was denying anger, this tends to fade away as people courageously confront the amount of anger that they have been carrying in their heart, in preparation for forgiving the one who acted unjustly.

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Can you think of any atrocity in which you think no one would forgive the person?

I actually cannot think of even one atrocity in which no one would forgive.  I know a person who forgave the Nazis who imprisoned her during World War II.  I know a person who forgave the murderer of her 7-year-old daughter.  It is not the situation per se that is at issue here.  Instead, it is the heart of the ones who have been crushed by the injustice.  I have been amazed at the resilience of the human heart in forgiveness.  We need to realize that forgiveness in these dire circumstances are the free will choices of those who forgive.  We must not condemn those who would not forgive.

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I am wondering if there is any scientific evidence showing that forgiveness education might increase academic achievement.

Yes, there is scientific evidence specifically concerning adolescents who are at-risk for academic failure.  In the first study below, the students went from a D+ average to a C+ average.  The second study was done in South Korea.  Some of the participants were in a correctional institution.

Gambaro, M.E., Enright, R.D., Baskin, T.A., & Klatt, J. (2008). Can school-based forgiveness counseling improve conduct and academic achievement in academically at-risk adolescents? Journal of Research in Education, 18, 16-27.

Park, J.H., Enright, R.D., Essex, M.J., Zahn-Waxler, C., & Klatt, J.S. (2013). Forgiveness intervention for female South Korean adolescent aggressive victims.  Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 20, 393-402.

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When someone treats me unkindly, I just strive for justice by forthrightly asking for fairness. I try to get the person to change. This is sufficient, without even bringing in forgiveness, isn’t it?

Why not do both? Why not forgive first, which probably will lower your anger, and then ask for fairness? The asking may turn out to be more civil if you ask when not angry. In other words, think in “both-and” ways rather than “either-or” ways.

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