Our Follow-up on “Phony Forgiveness”

Timing is amazing sometimes.  We posted a blog essay yesterday (just below this one) on three reasons why quick forgiveness is not necessarily “phony forgiveness” and we then came across this story: “Parents no longer forgive shooter of teen.”

Apparently, parents of a slain youth retracted their forgivenessForgiveness-Eraser toward the man who shot him.

We would like to claim that their first overture of forgiveness seems very sincere based on the news story. We have to remember our second point in the earlier blog post: psychological defenses are sometimes strong when tragedy strikes. As they lessen, anger rises.  Now the deep work of forgiveness might begin….in time.  And one more point: Even a retraction of forgiveness is not necessarily a final word on the matter.

Robert

10 thoughts on “Our Follow-up on “Phony Forgiveness”

  1. Samantha January 12, 2014 / 1:28 pm

    My heart goes out to this couple. How awful. In time their hurting hearts may find room for forgiveness again. And it may be deeper and steadier than the first overture.

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  2. Chris January 12, 2014 / 1:59 pm

    My concern is the media’s publication of this retraction of the original forgiveness. I am concerned because the retraction might be viewed by the couple as a kind of commitment to stay unforgiving. Seeing their own words in print might make it harder for them to proclaim forgiveness now.

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  3. Gabby January 12, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    Sometimes the media are too quick to jump on a story of goodwill and forgiveness. This post and the previous one suggest that reporters should move forward with caution when someone quickly proclaims forgiveness. The proclamation could be forthcoming because he or she is not feeling angry as the psych defenses are working overtime.

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  4. Penelope January 14, 2014 / 8:26 pm

    Forgiveness is a process and it can be a slow one that builds character. I am not surprised that the couple finally got angry. What they do with that anger now will determine their future happiness.

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  5. Pauline January 14, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    The media should shut the light off on this one. The parents need some privacy here. They likely will have a lot of different emotions over the coming months. I for one would not want my mood changes to be chronicled and spread across the world.

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  6. Josh January 15, 2014 / 10:03 pm

    The moral of this story is that forgiveness is a moving target. It is flexible, changing, and not always in a straight line to completion. What I have learned from this is patience. I must be patient with myself when I seem to be moving backwards. It is part of the process.

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  7. Michael L January 16, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    I guess we just have to be patient with people when they say they have forgiven. They might take it back and it is always their choice. I wonder what can be done to move people deeper into forgiveness once they say they have forgiven? How can we encourage a deeper walk on this path?

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  8. Alexi January 18, 2014 / 10:14 am

    It is my hope that this hurting couple know of the successful paths to forgiveness. I think that in the long run they will be thankful to get on that path and walk far enough until forgiveness is realised in their hearts.

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  9. Brigid January 19, 2014 / 9:35 am

    This just goes to show that the forgiveness path is a twisty one. We have to have sympathy on those who seem to be going backwards. Perhaps they still are on the road and happen to be on a big turn that only appears to be proceeding backwards.

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  10. V.E.G. April 9, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Do not forget, Robert Tansill Oliver. He is possibly the most forgiving man in known history.

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