Should forgiveness be offered to everyone? Maybe, but in some situations it needs to be offered while you’re walking out the door!
My friend and colleague, the Rev. Kate Matthews-Huey of the Amistad Chapel in downtown Cleveland posted the following two very important questions to Fox 8’s Facebook page following this week’s airing of The Power of Forgiveness (part one).
“What if the perp is doing something in an ongoing way, so it’s not something in the past but has a life of its own? Also, are we required to let the offender know that we’re forgiving them? I’d appreciate your thoughts.”
Rev. Kate raises critical concerns for all of us and, particularly, for those who find themselves locked into abusive relationships or situations. Here are some quick and humble thoughts on forgiveness. I suspect, when you are done reading this, you may want to add some comments of your own.
Forgiveness 101: Let’s start by recalling forgiveness basics: First, forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning or even tolerating bad behavior, whether it is prior behavior or current. Instead, at the very least, forgiveness is interested in letting go of negative and, potentially, destructive thoughts such as anger or bitterness.