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How does healing happen?

June 8, 2015
  1. Forgiveness means forgetting the offense. (Forgiveness fully acknowledges the offense, and secures future safety.)
  2. Forgiveness means excusing the offense. (The offense was wrong.  Forgiveness never pretends otherwise.)
  3. Forgiveness means anger is inappropriate. (Anger is an alarm that signals the need for protection; its cry should be honored.)
  4. Forgiveness means the offender is no longer accountable.        (Forgiveness means the victim’s freedom from resentment.  The offender may still need to be restrained.)
  5. Forgiveness means I must be reconciled with the offender.(Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things.  Forgiveness is the victim’s healing.  Reconciliation involves right relationship that demands the wrong-doer’s accountability.)
  6. Forgiveness means re-submission to violation, perhaps even 70×7 times. (Forgiveness is in service of healing and life; it never asks for self-debasement.) 
  7. Forgiveness is a commandment forcing good Christians to do something they don’t really feel. (Forgiveness is an invitation for healing and renewal.) 
  8. If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven. (God has already forgiven humanity; forgiveness is a way of knowing this more deeply.) 
  9. Forgiveness can be demanded by the offender. (Offenders can ask to make restitution, to apologize, to repair a wound; if truly repentant, they should respect the victim’s pace of healing.)
  10. Someone else can forgive the person who offended you. (Forgiveness is the victim’s personal journey; neither the church, the state, nor any another person can make that journey for the victim.)

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