Sunday, April 14 2013, 05:23 PM
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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, August 28 2013, 07:52 PM - #permalink
    An interesting possibility is that God works within hearts that are willing to forgive. My understanding of forgiveness is that we forgive the behavior, leaving the perpetrator with full responsibility for his or her behavior. What that does is eliminate the impact of an incident by not allowing it to become personal. Being detached it not being unaware - it is a strategic reaction that allows the one who is hurt to progress and heal and removes the burden of lingering anger because the incident, which is not worthy of being part of today, is left in the past.

    I also believe self-forgiveness is short sighted, self deluding and self serving. In the first place it is doubtful to me that we have the right to forgive ourselves when our behavior may have hurt another soul. Plan B is to bring ourselves to account and resolve not to revisit the same behavior and take steps to see to it we do not repeat the offending behavior.

    Some years ago I was in West Virginia with a friend. We stopped for gas and the attendant was beyond rude. I felt chagrin that this might be racially motivated. Relief came when my friend said: "Since we're just passing through, we will never know if he is prejudiced or if he just has a headache." That was an example of forgiving the behavior before the incident even had a chance to become a burden.
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