Cheap Grace

Old 10-04-2010, 02:54 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Cheap Grace

Thought I would transcribe this for anyone who might find it helpful. I found it at a couple of years ago:

We are often pressured not to distinguish between forgiveness and reconciliation. The admonition to forgive seventy times seven is frequently distorted into pressure to enable, to set no boundaries, to not merely tolerate the intolerable, but to actively reward it. To take upon oneself all the consequences of the others behavior, while they remain free to abuse us -- and others -- without constraint.

If it is unhealthy to forgive in such circumstances, where does the concept of unilateral forgiveness fit into healthy spirituality and how can it ever be practiced authentically?

Here is the key: in order to be able to forgive unilaterally, two things are necessary. First, the person who is extending forgiveness must experience genuine healing. This can be sought and obtained unilaterally, regardless of whether the abuser ever admits to being abusive, or ever makes amends. Healing is absolutely essential if unilateral forgiveness is to be real. Nancy Richards, in her book Heal and Forgive: Forgiveness in the Face of Abuse, makes it clear that forgiveness is a process, not merely an event. It requires emotional and psychological healing, which in turn require validation [this injury is real] , acceptance of the injured party's anger, and the opportunity to come to terms with the grief associated with any injury or loss. God is here for this; God is present in this: God's love is extended to us infinitely, in this.

Second, if at all possible, the person extending forgiveness must take reasonable steps to shield themselves from further abuse by the party being forgiven.

There's more, but this is the part that I need to re-read now and then. Posts here at SR say the same, actually -- in a variety of ways.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:14 PM
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Wanted to hit the thanks button 10 times.
I stayed stuck in thinking forgivrness equals taking the abuse again and again and...........
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