The Art of ForgivingAug 28, 2022
Years ago, I bought a book by Lewis Smedes called The Art of Forgiveness. I haven’t picked it up in years. This summer, Trisha and I are taking a step of faith with our non-profit ministry, RefineUs Marriage Ministries, and are doing a couple of marriage conferences in the fall, and are offering Marriage Coaching for couples starting in June. In preparation for some of that, I picked up the Smedes book and started thumbing through it. It is so rich.
One quote that I had marked, highlighted and starred said this:
The three stages of the art of forgiving are: Restoring humanity to the person who has wronged you; Surrendering your right to get even; Beginning to bless the person we forgive.
As I read that, I thought “That can’t be right. I think there should only be two stages.” I have no problem restoring the humanity of the person who has wronged me. I have no problem surrendering my desire and my right to get even. But to bless and pray for blessing for the person that has wronged me…that’s a little overboard.
I realized reading this that I have some work to do in my own heart. I thought I had forgiven someone, but I don’t want to bless him…I don’t wish him well. I don’t wish him harm; I just don’t pray that he is blessed. Maybe I haven’t forgiven to the extent that God has forgiven me and has called me to forgive.