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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Discovering forgiveness

It heals our hearts and sets us free. Here's how we do it.

Every act of forgiveness involves at least three elements, Smedes says — all of which were reflected in my experience with Norm.

1. We rediscover the humanity of the person who has wronged us, seeing that individual as a human being, not just as the one who offended us.

2. We surrender our right and desire to get even or punish the person.

3. We revise our feelings toward the individual and are open to a new relationship built on mutual respect. Seeing the person differently allows our feelings to change. We may begin to wish them well.

But none of this can happen until we feel our pain, name it and grieve our loss, says Judy Logue, who for 15 years has led retreats on how to forgive old hurts.


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October issue

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