Stages of Forgiveness: Stage 5

September 29, 2011

By Dr. Allen Novian


Stage 5- Identify Some Good in the Other Person


This step, finding some good in the other person, is probably the most crucial step in bringing about lasting forgiveness.  It can also be the hardest, depending on the severity of the event you are trying to forgive.


According to Francis Bacon, the key to forgiveness is in “not expecting the other to change, to give love, to be kind and develop the ability to see that in everyone else’s eyes and heart there is some good.”  In forgiving, you try not to think of yourself as being good and the other person as being bad.  You can find it easier to forgive if you can understand that the other person has difficulties too, or that they were harmed in the past.


If you do not practice this step, then forgiveness will be futile because it will be done with a sense of contempt for the other person.  If you cannot find good in the other person, then at least pray for them.  A wonderful technique for developing your vision of good in another is to imagine a seed of goodness in their heart, and in prayer imagine that both you and God are watering it to make it grow stronger.  Better yet is to imagine that each person already has this great flower of goodness in them already.  Admit that it has been obscured from your view because of your anger, resentment, and justifications.  Learn to look for the good.  At first, like developing any skill, it is challenging.  You will become better with practice


By africa, published on 18 February 2011 at
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