You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.

— Lewis B. Smedes

The most superior Lewis B. Smedes quotes that will inspire your inner self

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past.

A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.

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When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.

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To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

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You can forgive someone almost anything.

But you cannot tolerate everything...We don't have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.

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Forgiveness is God's invention for coming to terms with a world in which people are unfair to each other and hurt each other deeply. He began by forgiving us. And He invites us all to forgive each other.

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It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.

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Forgiving is love's toughest work, and love's biggest risk.

If you twist it into something it was never meant to be, it can make you a doormat or an insufferable manipulator. Forgiving seems almost unnatural. Our sense of fairness tells us people should pay for the wrong they do. But forgiving is love's power to break nature's rule.

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You and I were created for joy, and if we miss it we miss the reason for our existence. If our joy is honest joy, it must somehow be congruous with human tragedy. This is the test of joy's integrity. It is compatible with pain. Only the heart that hurts has a right to joy.

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I am certain that people never forgive because they believe they have an obligation to do it or because someone told them to do it. Forgiveness has to come from inside as a desire of the heart. Wanting to is the steam that pushes the forgiving engine.

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When we forgive evil we do not excuse it, we do not tolerate it, we do not smother it. We look the evil full in the face, call it what it is, let its horror shock and stun and enrage us, and only then do we forgive it.

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Hope is to our spirits what oxygen is to our lungs.

Lose hope and you die. They may not bury you for awhile, but without hope you are dead inside. The only way to face the future is to fly straight into it on the wings of hope....hope is the energy of the soul. Hope is the power of tomorrow.

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None of us wants to admit that we hate someone.

.. When we deny our hate we detour around the crisis of forgiveness. We suppress our spite, make adjustments, and make believe we are too good to be hateful. But the truth is that we do not dare to risk admitting the hate we feel because we do not dare to risk forgiving the person we hate.

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About Lewis B. Smedes

Quotes 65 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

Forgiving is, first of all, a way of helping yourself to get free of the unfair pain somebody caused you.

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Spoken forgiveness, no matter how heartfelt, works best when we do not demand the response we want. I mean that when we tell people we forgive them, we must leave them free to respond to our good news however they are inclined. If the response is not what we hoped for, we can go home and enjoy our own healing in private.

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Vengeance is having a videotape planted in your soul that cannot be turned off.

It plays the painful scene over and over again inside your mind...And each time it plays you feel the clap of pain again...Forgiving turns off the videotape of pained memory Forgiving sets you free.

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Happy people are not their own enemies, do not carry on an endless war with their souls. We may be fiercely at odds with the wrongs of the world around us. But inside ourselves, near the core, if we are happy, we are at peace.

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God invented forgiving as a remedy for a past that not even he could change and not even he could forget. His way of forgiving is the model for our forgiving.

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Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory.

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How many times should you forgive your household bruiser? You should not even think about forgiving him. Not yet. Not as long as he has his foot on your neck. Your problem at this point is not forgiving. Your problem is how to get out of his reach. Once you get away from him, you can think about forgiving him.

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...Forgiving is not having to understand. Understanding may come later, in fragments, an insight here and a glimpse there, after forgiving.

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Forgiveness is the key that can unshackle us from a past that will not rest in the grave of things over and done with. As long as our minds are captive to the memory of having been wronged, they are not free to wish for reconciliation with the one who wronged us.

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The problem with revenge is that it never evens the score.

It ties both the injured and the injurer to an escalator of pain. Both are stuck on the escalator as long as parity is demanded, and the escalator never stops.

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We feel properly embarrassed when we are caught doing something that makes us look inept, knuckleheaded, or inappropriate. Maybe the difference is this: we feel embarrassed because we look bad, and we feel shame because we think we are bad. When we are embarrassed, we feel socially foolish. When we are shamed, we feel morally unworthy.

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I learned that gratitude is the best feeling I would ever have, the ultimate joy of living.

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If you cannot free people from their wrongs and see them as the needy people they are, you enslave yourself to your own painful past and by fastening yourself to the past, you let your hate become your future.

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Not even God can make something fair out of what is intrinsically unfair.

Only one thing can be done. Something must break through the crust of unfairness and create a chance for a new fairness. Only forgiveness can make the breakthrough.

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When forgiveness is necessary, don't wait too long.

We must begin to forgive, because without forgiving, we choke off our own joy; we kill our own soul. People carrying hate and resentment can invest themselves so deeply in that resentment that they gradually define themselves in terms of it.

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The rule is: we cannot really forgive ourselves unless we look at the failure in our past and call it by its right name.

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Any moment that opens us up to the reality that life is good is a parable of the supreme end for which we were made.

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We forgive freely or we do not really forgive at all.

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Their pain [the injurer's pain at having injured you] and your pain create the point and counterpoint for the rhythm of reconciliation. When the beat of their pain is a response to the beat of yours, they have become truthful in their feelings...they have moved a step closer to a truthful reunion.

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I am personally thankful that we live together in a large moral house even if we do not drink at the same fountain of faith. The world we experience together is one world, God's world, and our world, and the problems we share are common human problems. So we can talk together, try to understand each other, and help each other.

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God is the original, master forgiver.

Each time we grope our reluctant way through the minor miracle of forgiving, we are imitating his style. I am not at all sure that any of us would have had imagination enough to see the possibilities in this way to heal the wrongs of this life had he not done it first.

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I have discovered that most people who tell me that they cannot forgive a person who wronged them are handicapped by a mistaken understanding of what forgiving is.

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Gandhi was right: if we all live by 'an eye for an eye' the whole world will be blind. The only way out is forgiveness.

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Forgiving is tough. Excusing is easy. What a mistake it is to confuse forgiving with being mushy, soft, gutless, and oh, so understanding. Before we forgive, we stiffen our spine and we hold a person accountable. And only then, in tough-minded judgment, can we do the outrageously impossible thing: we can forgive.

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The only way to heal the pain which will not heal itself is to forgive the person who hurt you. Forgiveness heals the memory's vision. ... You set a prisoner free, but you discover the real prisoner was yourself.

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We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.

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When I feel the joy of receiving a gift my heart nudges me to join creation's ballet, the airy dance of giving and receiving, and getting and giving again.

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Waiting is the hardest work of hope.

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Don't do it quickly, but don't wait too long.

.. If we wait too long to forgive, our rage settles in and claims squatter's rights to our souls.

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Our history is an inevitable component of our being.

One thing only can release us from the grip of our history. That one thing is forgiveness.

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Human sexuality includes more than hormones, organs, and orgasms;

it runs through the psychic and spiritual ranges of our lives. We experience our sexuality on the spiritual level as a yearning for another person. We want to reach out and stretch ourselves into the depths of another. We want to bring the other person into the orbit of our deepest selves. We want to probe into the mystery of the other.

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The longer we hate, the harder it is to heal us.

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Self control is about being in charge of the direction our lives are taking.

Now for the paradox: We get control of our lives, ultimately, not by will power but by surrender.

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Forgiving does not usually happen at once.

It is a process, sometimes a long one, especially when it comes to wounds gouged deep. And we must expect some lapses...some people seem to manage to finish off forgiving in one swoop of the heart. But when they do, you can bet they are forgiving flesh wounds. Deeper cuts take more time and can use a second coat.

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Because arrogance is born in personal vanity, arrogant people are driven without mercy. They can never get enough power to fill the soul's needs or enough respect to overcome the fear that they deserve less than they are getting.

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The difference between guilt and shame is very clear--in theory.

We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. A person feels guilt because he did something wrong. A person feels shame because he is something wrong. We may feel guilty because we lied to our mother. We may feel shame because we are not the person our mother wanted us to be.

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The secret of grace is that it can be all right at the center even when it is all wrong on the edges.

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