Friday, March 28, 2008

Three Essential Aspects of Forgiveness

Here is part of the book that I am reading from Amish Grace.

About Forgiveness ...

Forgiveness is a concept everyone understands - until they're asked to devine it.

Robert Enright

He has done clinical research on forgiveness and effects; here are some of his results and definitions.

In his research, he has come to believe that forgiveness is good for he person who offers it, reducing "anger, depression, anxiety and fear" and affording "cardiovascular and immune system benefits."

Clarification on Foriveness

But, what is it and what it is not ???

Many may not like using a philosopher to define the word, but here is a definition from Joanna North:

When unjustly hurt by another, we forgive when we overcome the resentment toward the offender, not by denying our right to resentment, but instead by trying to offer the wrongdoer compassion, benevolence and love."


Enright believes that this definition highlights three esential aspects of forgiveness:

- offense is taken seriously
- victims have a moral right to anger
- victim "gives up" their right to anger and resentment


Forgiveness is a gift to our offender who may not necessarily deserve it.

Forgiveness is unconditional, an unmerited gift that replaces negative feelings toward the wrongdoer with love and generosity.

Forgiveness means treating the offender "as a member of the human community".


Roland said...


It is SO encouraging to hear others say that!

Roland said...

Tangent comment -
Have you read "Velvet Elvis"?
(I was looking at your listed book you've read, and connected with the quotes, it just seems like you must have, but...)

Roland said...

Sorry to hog all the comments. :)
I linked your post.
I also added you on the list of blogs I read.
I thought I already had.

Wonder Woman said...

Forgiveness... working on it :)

Jeff Greathouse said...


- It was good to hear and you are welcome

- I did read that book when it came out last year

- Hog the comments all that you want, I appreciate comments


It is tough. The Amish make it look so easy. Their culture and live is embedded in it. We, at least most of, are far removed from it.