Doin’ what comes naturally

By Dave Henning / June 16, 2012

When unforgivable (from our point of view) offenses are committed against us, Dr. David Stoops (Forgiving the Unforgivable) says that our natural desire for justice often leads to thoughts of revenge- and that those thoughts often are quite enjoyable.  Yet, revenge never brings satisfaction.  Dr. Stoops cites an old Chinese proverb- “He who seeks revenge should dig two graves.”

Forgiveness, on the other hand, does not come naturally.  Dr. Stoops states that is because we have an internal tension between two sets of values vying for our attention: “If we are to forgive, it feels like we must deny our own sense of justice and fairness.  But not to forgive is to deny our sense of love and compassion.”

In essence, if vengeance will not satisfy, forgiveness is the only other choice.  Dr. Stoops believes we consider some sins unforgivable because we have incorrect perceptions about what forgiveness is and is not.  In the next chapter Dr. Stoops provides a “forgiveness perception” quiz.

Forgiveness indeed becomes possible when we understand its essential elements.

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Dave Henning

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