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Beyond Revenge – Forgiveness (Part four of a five part series)

In this next blog I will talk about additional behaviors that can result in getting forgiveness as well very important implications of adopting a policy of forgiveness

 To get forgiveness, McCullough talks about how giving the “right’ kind of apology is important. He talks about not trying to justify the behavior and taking responsibility for anything that the transgressor has done wrong.  McCullough goes on to say the value of offering some sort of compensation, not necessarily to try and actually repay for the harm (thought when appropriate that can also be a positive factor)  to show genuine regret.

 Another factor that I think is important is to be humble.  Realize it’s not about what you’ve done; it’s about how you’ve hurt the other person. Focus on how the person has been injured emotionally; saying something like:

“I realize that when I lied to you, you felt betrayed and hurt.”  It is important to realize two things first your words must be genuine and second, you must be patient, it takes time to forgive.  

 The book also talks about “restoring justice”. What McCullough means by that is, whenever possible to try and restore things back to the way they were before the wrong doing was done.  A simple example of this is if someone broke a window, they would pay for the window and labor and find someone who could do the repair. 

 In my final blog on this subject I will write about the national implications for revenge and forgiveness.  It becomes obvious that much of war and destruction is countries taking revenge on other countries; on the other hand, the ability to forgive with caution, has often led to countries living in peace and prospering. 


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