Tagged: “forgiveness is a choice”

Checking in Again on Your Unfolding Love Story

For over 10 years on this site, we have posted a reflection in which we encourage readers to grow in love as their legacy of the present year. We have said this across the years:

“Give love away as your legacy of 2022.

How can you start? I recommend starting by looking backward at one incident of 2021. Please think of one incident with one person in which you were loved unconditionally, perhaps even surprised by a partner or a parent or a caring colleague. Think of your reaction when you felt love coming from the other and you felt love in your heart and the other saw it in your eyes. What was said? How were you affirmed for who you are, not necessarily for something you did? What was the other’s heart like, and yours?”

It is now about four months later. Can you list some specific, concrete ways in which you have chosen love over indifference? Love over annoyance? If so, what are those specifics and how are they loving? We ask because we have only about eight months left to 2022. Have you engaged in about a third of all the loving responses that you will leave in this world this year?

If you have not yet deliberately left love (or enough love) in the world this year, there is time. . . . . and the clock is ticking.

Robert

Please follow and like us:

I have a concern about forgiveness.  As you know, there is a new political movement of giving oppressed people their due.  For example, a school district in the United States had a ceremony with indigenous people, acknowledging that the school actually is on land that was taken from this oppressed group.  If forgiveness is injected into this movement, I fear that the indigenous people will once again be persecuted as they give in to the oppression, gaining nothing.

I think you are misunderstanding what forgiveness is and what it is not.  To forgive is not to excuse or to condone injustices.  Instead, forgiveness is goodness offered to those who have not been good to the forgiver.  This moral virtue can exist side-by-side with the quest for justice.  In fact, forgiving, when people choose to do so, can rid the heart of resentment that can deeply compromise the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Please follow and like us:

I am doing research on forgiveness as an idea in the heart of humanity.  In your own studies, what do you see as the earliest, ancient work that describes person-to-person forgiveness?

The oldest account of person-to-person forgiving that I have found is in the Hebrew Scriptures, in Genesis 37-45 in which Joseph forgives his 10 half-brothers for attempted murder and then selling him into slavery in Egypt.  Joseph ends up unconditionally forgiving them and providing provisions for the Hebrew nation that was suffering from famine.

Please follow and like us:

I once heard an academic say that forgiveness hurts relationships because it is good to sometimes vent and express anger.  What do you think?

I think we need to make important distinctions in answering this question.  To express anger is not incompatible with forgiving.  We have to distinguish short-term anger, in which the offended person shows self-respect, and long-term and deep anger in which the person harbors a grudge and keeps the offense in front of the one who behaved badly.  The short-term anger is meant to alter the injustice and correct the other person’s injustice.  A person can show such anger, correct the other person, and then forgive.  The long-term variety of anger, in contrast, can be a tool for punishing the other, with no end in sight.  The important message here is to avoid sweeping generalities about anger and about forgiveness.  To presume that one cannot be angry and forgive is reductionism which then distorts what forgiveness is and how it can be used productively in a relationship.

Please follow and like us:

You just said that forgiveness centers on “those who are not good to you.”  COVID definitely is not good to us and so it seems to follow that we can forgive the virus.  What do you think?

Actually, no.  I still maintain that we cannot forgive a virus because the rest of the sentence I wrote is this: “To forgive on its highest level is to struggle to offer goodness…..”   You do not offer goodness to a virus.  Do you show, for example, generosity or kindness to a virus?  The answer is no and so you do not forgive a virus.

Please follow and like us:

The Missing Piece to the Peace Puzzle

x