Man sitting against a tree looking out over a field

Forgiveness is easy…forgiveness is hard

We know we need to forgive but sometimes it is very hard.

Why is it so hard to forgive?

Most of have a self-centered sense of fairness. We want some grace for ourselves but are strict with others.

I once had a neighbor whose two biggest worries in life were:

1- someone is getting away with something

2- he wasn’t getting credit for everything he had done.

He kept strict accounts on everyone excluding himself.

Paula Huston is an author whose work I have reviewed before. She has written a brave book, Forgiveness: Following Jesus Into Radical Loving .

In her books she weaves biblical teaching, observations from other writers, and her personal experiences. She is a skilled writer with deep insights who takes risks as she reveals her failures as well as her victories.

This book is a story of children who hate becoming adults who love. It is a story of a bitter woman who teaches a loving way to deal with former enemies. She is honest on how close enemies can be and how to practice hard forgiveness. It is about forgiving parents and spouses.

Huston’s Table of Contents

Part 1- Before we can forgive

1- Forgiveness and the problem of evil

2- Forgiveness and the problem of justice

Part 2- Preparing ourselves to forgive

3- The evil I do not wish to do

4- Telling the difference between a real hurt and a wounded ego

5- Disciplines as preparation for becoming a forgiving person

6- False forgiveness

Part 3- Forgiving

7- Forgiving those we do not choose (parents)

8- Forgiving those we do choose (marriage partners)

9- Forgiving in community

Part 4-  Being forgiven

10- When we are at fault

11- From wounded to healed

Conclusion- The unforgiving world vs. the Kingdom of God

We all need a book like this. I have greatly benefitted from it and recommend it for you.

We know we need to forgive but sometimes it is very hard. But forgiveness comes when we make a commitment to imitate Jesus.

Questions for consideration:

When has forgiveness been easy for you? When has it been hard?

What is the hardest thing for you to forgive?