“In admonishing and forgiving those who sin toward us, we ally ourselves with God in the struggle against moral evil, by refusing to lapse into vengefulness and self-pity, and instead focusing ourselves, and if possible the sinner as well, on the higher things of God. This also is a good to which sin is integral, rather than constituting a mere causal means, and which makes the world far better than it would be if sin never occurred.” ~ Hugh McCann
Unfortunately, Hugh, you might see me as differing with you about our forgiving others and perhaps admonishing them, as well, being a means of bettering our lives. At one typically unnoticed level, I agree. At the move overt of those I disagree. My forgiving someone for their abuse of children does not necessarily change their actions. Too often, close to one hundred percent of those going through my 32 classes focused on undoing domestic violence behaviors didn’t change their behaviors in a healthy fashion. Most of those men and women learned how to hide their actions better.
Those who changed their preferred stance toward family and friends shifted how they saw themselves. By not seeking out how to avoid the consequences, but rather, how to refashion their view of themselves. Deeply successful clients were ones who looked at themselves with more than shame. Each of those men and women sought out what, of themselves, they were masking over with their, sometimes, true displeasure in what that other person had done. By doing so they expressed a level of forgiveness uncommon to, at least, 99.9% of us.
I have to own my own struggles in looking into myself. We deceive ourselves.