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The path of least resistance?

By Dave Henning / July 8, 2012

Brian Jones (Getting Rid of the Gorilla) says that a major reason forgiveness is so difficult for us is that we believe the process will take too long and we are unwilling or unable to invest in the process.  We’d rather live with the gorilla (a heart of unforgiveness) than take on the more difficult tasks of […]

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Short-circuiting forgiveness

By Dave Henning / July 8, 2012

You may recall that in Forgiving the Unforgivable, Dr. David Stoops stated that when we forgive too quickly we merely are excusing the behavior.  In other words, our forgiveness is incomplete. Brian Jones begins Chapter 5 (“Myths”) of Getting Rid of the Gorilla with a quote by Dr. Stoops from his book, coauthored by Dr. […]

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Creating distance: a two-edged sword

By Dave Henning / July 7, 2012

Brian Jones begins Chapter 3 of Getting Rid of the Gorilla with this insightful quote from noted author James Baldwin (Notes of a Native Son): “I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with […]

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Anger vs. rage- Part 2

By Dave Henning / July 6, 2012

Brian Jones makes one final distinction between anger and rage in Chapter 2 of Getting Rid of the Gorilla.  He adds that while it’s natural to get angry when we’ve been hurt, we make the decision whether or not to turn that anger into rage.  So why might that option be so tempting? According to […]

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Anger vs. rage

By Dave Henning / July 4, 2012

In Chapter 2 of Getting Rid of the Gorilla, Pastor Brian Jones provides a stark contrast between anger and rage. Anger is: 1.  Normal 2.  Proportionate to the degree of the offense 3.  A God-given emotion 4.  Directed at a specific individual or group 5.  The Greek word for anger in the Bible (orge) means “to be […]

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Is there a gorilla in the house?

By Dave Henning / July 4, 2012

Brian Jones opens Getting Rid of the Gorilla: Confessions on the Struggle to Forgive with this quote on forgiveness by C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity): “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”  In other words, while we all know what Jesus said about forgiveness, it is quite another matter […]

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The miracle of forgiveness

By Dave Henning / July 2, 2012

Dr. David Stoops (Forgiving the Unforgivable) offers some final thoughts on the process of forgiveness.  Forgiveness usually is not a smooth process from start to finish.  Sometimes God steps into the process in unimaginable ways.  At other times it seems more like we’re poking along on our own. Dr. Stoops then expands on those times […]

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A false sense of control

By Dave Henning / June 30, 2012

Near the end of Forgiving the Unforgivable, Dr. Stoops contrasts the true power of forgiveness with the false sense of control we feel when we withhold forgiveness.  His comment is reminiscent of T. D. Jakes’ assertion that holding onto anger is not a replacement for losing something we love. Dr. Stoops states: “We often believe […]

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The price of forgiveness

By Dave Henning / June 30, 2012

Especially when contemplating a major purchase, we will leave no stone unturned to find the best deal possible.  But when it comes to the high cost of unforgiveness to our faith walk with God, we often seem unable or unwilling to find a more “cost-effective” solution. Hannah More, an English religious writer and philanthropist who […]

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Forgiveness- process or decision?

By Dave Henning / June 27, 2012

According to Dr. David Stoops (Forgiving the Unforgivable), when we are dealing with an offense that is seemingly unforgivable, the answer is that forgiveness is both a process and a decision.  Forgiveness is like grieving.  It’s a process that takes an indeterminate amount of time, perhaps several years when dealing with an offense that feels […]

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Healthy anger

By Dave Henning / June 26, 2012

Earlier in Forgiving the Unforgivable, Dr. David Stoops stated that anger is a necessary part of the forgiveness process.  But not all types of anger are created equal.  Is there a type of anger that is productive? Dr. Stoops describes healthy anger this way: “Healthy anger involves a concern with justice, with protecting you and […]

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Forgive and remember- Part 3

By Dave Henning / June 25, 2012

Virgil Elizondo is a Mexican-American Roman Catholic priest who teachers at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.  In Forgiving the Unforgivable, Dr. David Stoops relates an experience Father Elizondo had while visiting a monument in Paris, France.  The monument was dedicated to the memory of deported French people who had died in […]

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