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Ten Commandments of Forgiveness



Fr. Brian Joyce's "Ten Commandments of Forgiveness." 


He introduces the list by saying, “Which (of these commandments) do I find most difficult to live with and to accept? I think the first five may be very hard to live with. But I think, at least up here in our heads, we accept them. I think. Here are the first five:



#1. Forgiveness is not easy. It takes time and it takes effort.



#2. Forgiveness is not forgetting. It doesn't mean a change in memory. It means a change in heart.



#3. Forgiveness does not overlook evil. In other words, it is not avoidance. It is not denial.



#4. Forgiveness is not destructive. It doesn't mean that we let hurt and damage continue and go on.



#5. Forgiveness is not the same thing as approval. In fact, the reason that we need forgiveness is that we don't approve. Something has happened that we do not approve of. We will not approve of it. What we can do is forgive.



Now, that's the first five. But then I think it gets more difficult. Think of these next five. Which of those do you not only have trouble living with, but which one would you say, for you, you are not even sure you can accept?



#6. Forgiveness is based on recognizing and admitting that people are always bigger than their faults. In other words, I shouldn't define people by just the way they have treated me. There is more to their lives than that.



#7. Forgiveness is willing to allow a person who has offended me to start over again. Or, do I say, "No room! No second chances! No, I will not ever let go and let you begin again."



#8. Forgiveness recognizes the humanity of the person who has wronged us and also recognizes our own humanity and our own shortcomings and our own contribution to what went wrong.



#9. Forgiveness surrenders the right to ‘get even.’ And, finally,



#10. Forgiveness means we wish the person or the group that has hurt us well. In fact, we wish them the best.”

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