Sunday, April 19, 2015

Forgiveness Quotes


Forgiveness repairs our internal damage and frees us to live in the present with hope for the future.

Forgiveness provides the groundwork for reconciliation but it cannot change the offender.

I am teaching about forgiveness in the next few weeks. In the process of preparation, I am looking for ways to explore the meaning of forgiveness in ordinary language rather than the often obtuse definitions found in psychology journals.

Forgiveness defined
Forgiveness is an action performed by a victim to no longer demand that the offender pay for the harm that was done. The victim takes control of the situation by assessing the damage and taking care of any repairs whether they be to oneself or one’s possessions.

We can forgive people for harmful acts that cost us real money such as damage to our home or auto. Other damages are difficulty to assess. Some harm our reputations. Others wound not only bodies but plant horrific images and condemning messages in our memories that don't easily go away. Repairing these internal hurts is also costly and often takes time. As with the repair of houses and cars, we are often in need of specialists to help repair our inner hurts.

Forgiveness as a way of living
Forgiving seventy times seven represents a personality trait—a pattern of quickly letting go of hurt feelings and dismissing thoughts of revenge. (My take on the term dispositional forgiveness and Matthew 18:22).

Some quotes from others

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” Nelson Mandela

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable, because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.  C.S. Lewis

“I think that if God forgives us we must forgive ourselves. Otherwise, it is almost like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him.” C.S. Lewis

I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a canceled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one. Henry Ward Beecher

If we really want to love, we must learn how to forgive. Mother Theresa

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Mahatma Gandhi, All Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  Mark Twain


Additional References

Sutton, G. W. (2014). Psychology of forgiveness: An overview of recent research linking psychological science and Christian spirituality. Encounter, 11.  Academia Link

Sutton, G. W. (2010). The Psychology of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Restoration: Integrating Traditional and Pentecostal Theological Perspectives with Psychology. In M. Mittelstadt & G. W. Sutton (eds). Forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration: Multidisciplinary studies from a Pentecostal perspective. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications. 

Sutton, G. W., & Thomas, E. K. (2005). Restoring Christian leaders: How conceptualizations of forgiveness and restoration can influence practice and research. American Journal of Pastoral Counseling8, 29-44. (The journal has been renamed, Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health.) Academia Link

1 comment:

  1. Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
    – Oscar Wilde
    Nice sharing of Forgiveness Quotes