Welcome to my blog. I’m a psychologist and the co-author (with Gary Chapman) of When Sorry Isn’t Enough. I share tips about What to Say When challenging conversations arise and I welcome your thoughts and questions. I’ll check back in frequently to chime in on the conversations here.
Forgiveness Does Not Heal Everything. We often have the mistaken idea that forgiveness will wipe the slate clean. Let me share three things that forgiveness does not do.
(1) Forgiveness does not remove all the consequences of wrongdoing. The father who abandons his children may repent ten years later, but forgiveness does not restore the ten years of void.
(2) Forgiveness does not immediately restore trust. Once trust is violated, it must be rebuilt by the person being trustworthy. If that happens, then over time trust will be restored.
Apologies and forgiveness can be awkward. They can feel painful. In the long run, however, they give an immeasurable payoff: peace and connection with others. The starting point for forgiveness is a good apology. For pointers on giving a complete apology, read my blog post here.
What do you think forgiveness can and cannot do?