In the second article I chose to read, Hall and Fincham (2005) discuss the concept of self-forgiveness. Their analysis seeks to get to the heart of what it means and essentially what it takes to forgive oneself for wrongdoing and reckless abandon. Enright (1996) defines self-forgiveness as “a willingness to abandon self-resentment in the face of one’s own acknowledged objective wrong, while fostering compassion, generosity, and love toward oneself.
Hall and Fincham (2005) argue that self-forgiveness is an internal and volatile aberration that results in both a retaliatory and benevolent appeal on behalf of the offender. The reason for this is because the offender is in conflict with their ability to do wrong and then compensate with righteous action in rebuttal to their transgression. After the stage of victim identification and reconciliation, avoidance occurs which puts the offender and any sense or notion of wrongdoing they may have had, at peace with themselves (Hall & Fincham, 2005).Furthermore, Hall and Fincham (2005) deduce that self-forgiveness does not imply an exemption from heartache, frustration, or regret. The offender will not magically fail to remember or begin to root for such behavior that should lead to another bout with personal disdain and disappointment. In fact, the offender will undergo extensive self-analysis and even consider the implications of interpersonal forgiveness from oneself toward another had they committed a similar offense. Lastly, Hall and Fincham (2005) give attention to the moral aspects of the self-forgiveness concept.
According to Horsbrugh (1974) interpersonal forgiveness is bound by biblical scripture which Jesus himself states that “When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark, 11:25). However, Hall and Fincham (2005) assert that “self-forgiveness can easily be conditional or impermanent. ” A perfect example of the issue about forgiveness would be Michael Vick staring at himself in the mirror after the allegations of masterminding and funding lucrative and horribly tragic dog fighting ring on his personal estate. The interpersonal ability of society to forgive Mick Vick for sponsoring such a deplorable blood sport at the expense of man’s best friend became a national debate that garnered him notoriety unforeseen in sports history. However, if the multitude of saints that denounced Mick Vick had only taken a time-out to reflect on their personal vice, an environment of compassion and interpersonal forgiveness could have blossomed, instead of the unforgiving hearts and hypocrisy.On a personal note, I have to consider my own transgressions before I dare judge someone else. Not a single person on this earth possesses the moral immaculateness necessary to judge another human being or the gall to not want to forgive them for wrongdoing.
1 John (1:9-10) states that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. I know that the issue of self-forgiveness is a bit deeper and personal to the point of self-hatred and belief that no amount of prayer can put you back in God’s good grace. I know this from personal experience and rebuke toward myself for indiscretions that only God almighty knows in complete detail. And with all my grievances and blame placed on God for my trials and tribulations and even minor inconveniences, I have yet to suffer a night without food, shelter, nor clothing.Reflection like this opens your eyes to just how fortunate and blessed all of us sinners are despite our tremendous lack of faith or entitlement. I believe that once a person accepts the necessity of interpersonal forgiveness due to its humbling and sanctifying power, the key to unlocking the ability to self-forgive will turn up, and open the door to a new outlook on life and unconditional love.
Forgiveness is an intangible, deep-rooted, and often faith based conception.Many people seeking interpersonal forgiveness from someone are really seeking closure to the point of getting their mind and personal affairs back in everyday working order. The belief that I can’t sleep at night until I have cleared up a matter between myself and a friend lends credence to the aforementioned statement. The loss of sleep is a result of not having closure from a face to face or heart to heart discourse. However, the concept of self-forgiveness is more about finding personal redemption or liberation from thoughts, feelings, and situations associated with any given transgression (Hall & Fincham, 2005).To counsel or console a client or church member in a predicament that involves the forgiveness of a transgression, I would have to be humble and truthful about my own faults and weaknesses. Simply reminding the client about the teachings of Jesus Christ as it relates to forgiveness will not always suffice.
I actually strongly believe in mock confrontational platforms in which the transgressor can image and then simulate an encounter with the victim of their wrongdoing.I would play the part of the victim and carry out dual roles of first accepting the offender’s apology and then rehash the encounter with a deliberate refusal to accept the offender’s conciliation. Of course, the acceptance of the offender’s apology in the first scenario will result in instant stress and guilt reduction, but the refusal to accept recompense in the second scenario will reveal the offenders ability to self-forgive and deal with the possibility of delayed or perennial censure. I stated before that the ability to forgive one another grants us humbling and sanctifying powers.Therefore, even after the offender suffers a blow to their constructive self-forgiveness manner, they have not lost the most critical and liberating effect of self-forgiveness because they are at peace with themselves and the higher power in which they confide. Their peace and happiness can live on.References Hall, J.
H. , Fincham, F. D. (2005). Self-Forgiveness: The Stepchild of Forgiveness Research. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24(5), 621-637. Horsbrugh, H.
J. (1974). Forgiveness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 4(2), 269-282.