Is forgiveness an event or a process?

Forgiveness can be a complex issue, especially when it comes to deep or ongoing hurt. There’s definitely more to discuss than I had time to last Sunday, so here are some answers to common questions about forgiveness from Ray Pritchard’s, The Healing Power of Forgiveness.

Is forgiveness an event or a process?

The answer is it’s both. Forgiveness is an event in the sense that you must, at some point, decide to forgive. And it is a process that must be repeated often over time. I spoke with a woman whose husband abandoned her for a younger woman, leaving her with a very young child to raise alone. As she told me the story, she said, “I guess I’ve forgiven him a million times. I forgive him over and over again every day.” I replied, “You’ll probably have to forgive him a million more times before its over.” That may not seem like a word of hope, but, in fact, it is. Remember, forgiveness isn’t a tool for manipulating people into having a good relationship with you…we should practice forgiveness for God’s sake and our own. That ought to be enough to motivate any of us.

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