What total forgiveness is

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By Dave Henning / July 18, 2012

Rev. R. T. Kendall discusses what total forgiveness is and is not in Chapter 1 of his book Total Forgiveness, presenting 10 characteristics for each of the two aspects.  The 10 concepts describing what forgiveness is not are very similar to the true-false quiz assessing one’s forgiveness belief system discussed by Dr. David Stoops in his book Forgiving the Unforgivable.

On the positive side, total forgiveness is:

1.  awareness of the offender’s sin, yet still forgiving that person

2.  a choice, an act of the will- “feeling” like forgiving will come later

3.  giving up the desire for punishment and revenge- vindication is what God does best

4.  confiding our hurt to a trustworthy friend who won’t share our information with those who have no need to be involved

5.  following Jesus’ command to be merciful (Luke 6:36)

6.  graciousness- keeping silent even though you could speak the truth

7.  something that must take place in the heart- our words will reflect that this has taken place

8.  an absence of bitterness

9.  releasing our resentment of God, trusting that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)

10. forgiving ourselves- there’s no lasting joy if we don’t

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    Dave Henning


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