Please contact E. B. Davis at email@example.com for information on guest blogs and interviews.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Forgiveness by Warren Bull
Attending a conference for clinical psychologists some years ago, I heard, “I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind but now I see.” coming from an adjacent room in the events center where a group of Presbyterians were meeting. Their music provided a lovely background for a new field of scientific inquiry called — forgiveness.
Psychologists talked about it while churchgoers sang about it. Researchers might have joined the party a few centuries late, but I was happy psychology arrived at all.
The presenter said he recently had an insight that many of us might disagree with. However, he was willing to risk sharing his new finding anyway. He said he now believed every person, no matter how damaged, can be helped. He also believed every person, no matter how damaging that person has been to others, has the potential to change and ultimately become a healthy and caring individual.
Forgiveness and repentance; what will psychologists discover next?
Let me be clear. Forgiveness does not mean staying in an environment or a relationship that is dangerous. It does not mean
pretending events did not happen. If there are legal consequences for the person who injured us, we can forgive and, at the same time, assist the legal authorities. If someone harmed us, that someone might harm someone else. Forgiveness does not mean that the perpetrator escapes facing the consequences of harming another person. I truly believe that in the long run everyone receives what he or she dishes out to others.
Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Taking the burden of resentment off our shoulders means not allowing injury in the past determine how we live now. We cannot change what happened. We can determine what we do in the present and what we will do in the future.
Forgiveness is taking an action for the forgiver, not the forgiven. In other words, let go. And then let God.