A Theologian on Goodwill

Garden

One of my great-aunts told me one time that she could forgive, but she could not forget.   She was true to her word – her memory served her faithfully until the day she died.  But I have always wondered, if the strategy for forgive, but not forget brought closure to unresolved resentment.

Lewis Smedes, a prominent author, ethicist, theologian and professor wrote extensively about forgiveness. It appears forgiveness gives us the freedom to practice goodwill to all.

“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish then well.”

Lewis Benedictus Smedes

10 thoughts on “A Theologian on Goodwill

  1. That’s a hard one too. Sometimes you think you can wish people well and even do,but deeep deeeeeepp down there is still a teeny bit of unforgiving. Unforgiving tentacles hold fast.

  2. Who but God can forgive and forget. We humans have very long memories–try as we would it is hard to completely forget. I love the saying in reference to this subject.–“In the sea of God’s forgetfulness”.

    • Indeed, this is a wonderful promise. When we apply the principal of forgetfulness in our experience it becomes more complicated because it is tied in with protection. Forgetting is a complex task because we need to safeguard our physical and emotional states. We must guard against a recurrence, but renounce the resentment that can hold us back from experiencing joy and peace.

  3. This is such a fascinating subject. You have reminded me that I meant to read ‘Forgiving the Unforgivable’by Master Charles Cannon published at the beginnning of last year. I came across this because the forward is written by Eckart Tolle, someone else whose work and teachings I find so very interesting.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. It is all about the power of now and our responsibility to that particular moment – to respect, cherish and live. We look to past and future for reference points, but forget that the only time that is given is now. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  4. An amazing writer. He speaks to us today. Isn’t it interesting that he should use common things like horses, bees and grape vines as object lessons to illustrate his important message.

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