Saturday, September 27, 2014

How Can I Possibly Forgive?

How Can I Possibly Forgive? by Sara Horn
Harvest House: 10/1/2014
eBook, 208 pages
ISBN-13: 9780736960991

Sometimes it's a struggle to forgive a friend, a family member, a coworker, or a neighbor. This book helps you to look at the meaning of forgiveness and the impact that choosing to forgive—or refusing to forgive—has on your life. It will help you identify the battles worth fighting and the ones that aren't and how to tell the difference.
As she did in her popular one-year experiment with submission, Sara Horn reveals through personal experiences and stories what she's learned about forgiving with God's help and healing. In the process, she explores the steps toward forgiveness, including how to
  • take care of the little problems we allow to become big issues
  • move on from painful slights and deep wounds
  • be real with ourselves and God first and then be real with others
  • find closure when disappointment in others doesn't resolve itself
  • let go of regret, anger, and bitterness that keep us from living in the freedom God intends
Life isn't about holding on to destructive and painful experiences. It's about letting go. And it's about letting God work in our trying situations so we can see Him more clearly on the other side.
My Thoughts:

How Can I Possibly Forgive?: Rescuing Your Heart from Resentment and Regret by Sara Horn is a highly recommended book that will help guide readers to the path of forgiveness.

As Horn points out in How Can I Possibly Forgive? forgiveness is the act of letting it all go, it being resentment, anger, bitterness, frustration, and unresolved issues of both the seemingly insignificant minor annoyances to the unfathomably deep wounds that have left scars. It is an action on your part to let go of the pain. Some of these issues can be forgiven much easier than others, which can take years to heal. Horn makes it clear that a personal relationship with God will help you forgive and heal your wounded heart.

There are several numbered steps or characteristics included in the book. Horn expounds on each step or characteristic and includes Biblical passages and principles along with personal stories to illustrate and explain. An example would be "Five Ways to Start Forgiving Right Now" which include: 1. Pray for the person who wounded you; 2. Look the offending person in the eye, say hello, and offer a compliment; 3. Do the right thing; 4. Be OK with what you’ve got; 5. Pick your battles. Or the  "Five Ways to Choose Forgiveness over Resentment Right Now" include: 1. Offer compassion; 2. Offer kindness; 3. Offer humility; 4. Offer gentleness; 5. Offer patience.

An example of characteristics includes "Seven Habits of Highly Forgiving People." Highly forgiving people are: 1. intentional about living in peace; 2. kind; 3. generous with their time, money, and life; 4. living by the Golden Rule; 5. meeting with God regularly through prayer and Bible study; 6. offering the benefit of the doubt to others when their actions are hurtful or disappointing; 7.  consistently praying for other people.

I do want to make it clear that this is a helpful book and could be a nice guide for a Bible study on forgiveness. Horn offers some great advice, especially for the small niggling issues that can pop up or minor acts that can become huge battlegrounds. For some more serious issues that people have to deal with, while very helpful and full of basically the information people need, this book would be "Forgiveness: the lite version." It is certainly true that when people learn to forgive and let go of the little things, following Biblical principles, it is easier to tackle forgiving the huge things, but, because this is a general book of helpful information and principles, Horn simple isn't dealing with the specific problems involved in some major traumas people struggle to forgive. While she mentions some of these big traumas, they are quite different from the examples she gives. Most people will understand that it is easier to forgive someone for a cruel remark than to forgive the person who sexually abused you as a child.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Harvest House for review purposes.

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