Dr. Hall and Dr Draycott
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Forgiveness is a very important part of life both in the Christian and secular world. In the field of Psychology there has been a recent interest in how giving and receiving forgiveness affects people. The bible speaks of forgiveness in many different passages. There are many similarities from what the bible says about forgiveness and recent psychological theories, but there are also quite a few differences. There are also some things that psychology adds to the idea of forgiveness that the Bible has spoken of.
Areas of Agreement
One thing that is very similar between recent Psychological findings and what the Bible says about forgiveness. This is that forgiveness can help reduce anger and bitterness and heal relationships. “The Cognitive and Emotive Uses of Forgiveness in the Treatment of Anger” is a psychological article that discuses how anger can be helped by forgiveness. Instead of venting anger or suppressing it, one can forgive and remove anger in a much more healthy way. Forgiveness brings understanding and healing into play instead of aggression and bitterness. (Fitzgibbons, 1986). Another example is in Donald Hope’s article, "The Healing Paradox of Forgiveness," He shows that forgivenessis an essential characteristic in the healing process. The unforgiving attitude holds on to the past waiting to receive a payment for the wrongs committed against which leads to bitterness when the compensation is not met. The forgiving attitude takes control of the past and removes feelings of being deprived and unfulfilled (Hope, 1987).
Forgiveness is one of the most important psychological processes of reconciling relationships that have been broken. Forgiveness can open the door for healing where there is bitterness and conflict. Studies done by Psychologists, “found evidence for the benefits of forgiveness for difficulties...