October 14, 2014

Chapter 8 Lines

Chapter 8  Spiritual Surgery: Forgiveness

p 151  Community always involves a kind of promise, whether or not it ever gets stated out loud.  It is a promise of commitment and loyalty.  When that promise gets broken, so does someone's heart.

p 152  Forgiveness is the only force strong enough to heal relationships damaged by hatred and betrayal.

p 156   But forgiveness does not come cheap.

p 157   Some things forgiveness is NOT:
             1. Forgiving is not excusing - forgiving doesn't mean tolerating or pretending.  When an action is excusable - it doesn't require forgiveness.
             2. Forgiving is not forgetting - forgiving is what's required precisely when we can't forget.
             3. Forgiving is not the same thing as reconciling.

p 158   Forgiveness takes place in the heart of one human being. It can be granted even if the other person does not ask for it or deserve it.  Reconciliation requires the rebuilding of trust, and that means good faith on the part of both parties.

p 158   Forgiveness begins when we give up the quest to get even. This is difficult because getting even is the natural obsession of the wounded soul.

p 159  Of course, letting go of vengeance doesn't mean letting go of justice. Justice must still be honored.

p 159  The next stage of forgiveness involves a new way of seeing and feeling. When we forgive, we begin to see more clearly. We don't ignore the hurts, but we see beyond them. We rediscover the humanity of the one who hurt us.

p 160  The third stage of forgiving, the one that shows you have begun to make some real progress, is when you find yourself wishing the other person well. When you want good things for someone who hurt you badly, you can pretty much know that the Great Forgiver has been at work in your heart.

p 160  God commands us to forgive because it is the best way to live. God commands forgiving because to refuse to forgive means I allow the one who hurt me to keep me chained in a prison of bitterness and resentment.  No human beings are more miserable than the unforgiving.

p 164  If you don't forgive - if you let pride, resentment, stubbornness, and defensiveness stand in your way - you become a hard and bitter person.  You carry a burden that will crush the humanity out of your spirit.  You will grow a little colder every day.  You will die.

p 165  True forgiveness is never cheap.  Hurt is deep; hurt is unfair. ... only one thing costs more than forgiving someone - NOT forgiving them. Non-forgiveness costs your heart.

p 166  Don't forgive, and your anger will become your burden. Don't forgive, and bit by bit all the joy will be choked out of you. Don't forgive, and you will be unable to trust anybody, ever again. Don't forgive, and the bitterness will crowd the compassion out of your heart slowly, utterly, forever.