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The power to initiate forgiveness

Knock, Andrew
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Online document. Alloa, Scotland: ForgivenessNet.

Andrew Knock begins this article on the power to initiate forgiveness with the acknowledgment that forgiveness is not easy. One reason it is not easy is because it can be difficult to answer who should take the initiative. Should not the person who committed the wrong take the first step, for example, by showing contrition or penitence? What if that person does not take the initiative? Should the wronged person take the initiative? What would hinder this person from taking the first step? These kinds of questions come readily to mind in discussion and personal experience of doing wrong and being wronged. Knock refers to Helmut Thielicke’s point that forgiveness will not occur when we make of forgiveness a law of reciprocity: “If the other person does this, I will forgive.â€? With all of this in mind, Knock then explores the dimensions of power and initiative in forgiveness to show how vital they both are to fully developed forgiveness.


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