(27) Again, it is not enough to explain how the forgiver
changes when she forgives; one must also explain what prompts that change.
One might argue that if forgiveness is a loving response to an injustice, then the forgiver
must pursue reconciliation even if it means that she might risk getting injured again.
When one forgives, the forgiver
, without denying her right to resentment, gives up her right to resentment and offers kindness, compassion, and even love toward the offender who does not necessarily deserve such gifts (Enright, 2001).
Consistent with past research, there was some evidence of group differences between the forgivers
and nonforgivers with respect to the experience of reframing and empathy.
In such a case, it may be advisable to come to an agreement beforehand with the forgiver
on the meaning of forgiveness.
Recalling the true meanings of guilt and forgiveness, McClay believes, may help us remember that they are concerned with "the soul of the transgressor and the well-being of society, and not merely with the forgiver
's good health and his sweet psychological revenge."
It removes a roadblock in the way of a forgiver
's further personal growth and development.
Looking at our own faults and our spouse's virtues can keep us together, as a happy marriage is a union of two forgivers
Readers also find inspiration to be better forgivers
from the Lord's Prayer, working in divorce and prison ministry, Jesus' words to Peter to forgive "70 times seven," and the examples of spiritual greats such as Henri Nouwen, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, and Pope John Paul II.
"Peace will mean victims become forgivers
, and perpetrators of crimes become confessors," said Paul Beran of World Vision Jerusalem.
She found that the responses of forgivers
differed significantly from those of nonforgivers on all but 18 of the items.
Those who counsel understanding are often labeled "forgivers
." Evident in the work of Gandhi, retaliation and forgiveness are not mirror-opposites, nor do they exhaust the world of possible responses to injustice.