Sunday, August 10, 2008

Avoiding Superficial Forgiveness

Christians weighing in on Botkin Syndrome:
Excerpts from "Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves" by Drs. Stoop and Masteller.

From page 220:

There is nothing wrong with needing time to work through the process of forgiveness...

In his book, "Caring Enough to Confront," David Augsberger says, “Forgiveness is a journey of many steps.” That little sentence sums up much of what we have been saying. As much as we might like forgiveness to be quick and easy, it is a process. It is a journey, which can take many steps. The first step – choosing to forgive, choosing not to hang on to the emotional IOU – is important and should not be overlooked. But the other steps are important, too, and we should not pass over them.

We can learn a great deal from forgiveness. Being hurt by someone only teaches us to protect ourselves and to mistrust others. Forgiveness, however, presents us with a choice as to how to respond. We can brush off what has happened by extending superficial forgiveness, ending up bitter and resentful. Or we can choose the path of true forgiveness, and learn lessons along the way that will shape our lives for the better.

If we are going to take God’s principles seriously, we will see that forgiveness isn’t optional. It is essential. What is optional is whether we choose the quick and easy path of superficial forgiveness, or the harder but more rewarding path of genuine forgiveness.

Excerpt from
Dr. David Stoop & Dr. James Masteller's
"Forgiving Our Parents, Forgiving Ourselves:
Healing Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families"
Regal/Gospel Light, 1996 (Servant, 1991)