Almost all of us have a person in our lives that we’ve refused to forgive. Here, FaithfulReader.com reviewer Marcia Ford, the author of numerous books (including MEMOIR OF A MISFIT, GOD BETWEEN THE COVERS and TRADITIONS OF THE ANCIENTS), offers practical help for facilitating forgiveness and reconciliation. She also makes a convincing case that forgiveness is essential for our own happiness and peace of mind.
Why do we need another book on forgiveness? Because forgiveness is in such short supply, Ford writes, and we must keep preaching the message, hearing the message, and living the message. In the introduction, Ford says she has become convinced that learning to forgive is one of life’s great lessons. Mixing personal experiences and practical know-how, she takes the reader, step by step, through a basic understanding of what forgiveness entails, why it is important, and what will happen after forgiveness takes place. God, she notes, forgives us relentlessly. And, of course, there’s the catch --- God expects us to forgive relentlessly also. Often this won’t happen under our own power --- we’ll need supernatural power to do it.
Why should we forgive? Ford begins with this question. “It’s about you letting go of your past, changing your present, and protecting your future. It’s about making a better life for yourself, and in some small way, making a better world as well.” Forgiveness makes us healthier people and gives us a better quality of life, she writes, adding that prolonged unforgiveness is associated with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, lowered immunity and stress-related disorders.
Not only do we need to forgive those who have personally wronged us, we also need to forgive more abstract groups of people --- those who fight for causes we are against (think the abortion/homosexuality/war debates among Christians) or who espouse ideas different from our own. We have to put away our desire to be better than others and