“Forgiveness Is More Than Saying Sorry”
“Forgiveness is a relational process whereby harmful conduct is acknowledged by one or both partners; the harmed partner extends undeserved mercy to the perceived transgressor; one or both partners experience a transformation from negative to positive psychological states, and the meaning of the relationship is renegotiated, with the possibility of reconciliation” (Waldron & Kelley 2008). There is no doubt that forgiveness is an extremely important topic for those of us who study personal relationships. Almost every relationship experiences dialectical tensions (conflicts between two important but opposing needs or desires) or some type of strain on a relationship (Floyd 2009). A time in which someone needs forgiveness arises from some sort of behavior harming a valued relationship, and if a person does not know how to forgive or refuses to forgive, then that has the potential to harm a friendship for forever. Through Waldron & Kelley’s book “Communicating Forgiveness”, they give an in-depth history of forgiveness, conceptualize forgiveness as communication, and offer path-breaking theory development, all through a Christian perspective. History of Forgiveness
Christian writings place a fully developed conceptual understanding of forgiveness between God and humankind; scripture emphasize the centrality of forgiveness as a means of reconciliation between God and humankind. It is argued that:
The root is the figure of Abraham, the founder of the three main western religions of
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It was Abraham’s departure from Mesopotamia, both
literally and figuratively, that provided the foundation to these religions. This foundation
involves three main concepts: Creation is good, God is merciful, and we (created in
God’s likeness) have a duty to imitate God and be merciful towards each other (Waldron
& Kelley 2008). In addition to this, as Christians, we are called to be Christ-like....
References: Floyd, K. (2009). Interpersonal communication: The whole story. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
NIV Quest study Bible (Revised ed.). (2003). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Waldron, Vincent R. & Kelley, Douglas L. (2008). Communicating forgiveness. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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