Are You Bearing an Unnecessary Forgiveness Burden?

Cow struggling to pull a cart loaded with sacks For some reason I’ve been thinking lately about the whole concept of forgiveness, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of inaccurate info out there on it. (Astounding, I know.) How does this apply to happiness, you ask? Forgiveness, rightly understood, is a key component. It is impossible to be happy if you’re walking around stewing about something somebody did to you.

You also can’t be happy if you’re carrying around load of guilt because you’re trying to forgive a wrong in the wrong way.

So let’s take a look at three correctives to these forgiveness mistakes:

 1. You can’t forgive on the behalf of someone else.

Remember way, way back when the “Access Hollywood” tapes surfaced, with a ten-years-younger Donald Trump bragging about assaulting women?

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Knowledge Is Not Enough.

woman's silhouette filled with colored gearsA short post today as I wrap up the week.  I was thinking this morning about the phrase “knowledge puffs up while love builds up” in the New Testament book of I Corinthians. This particular verse comes from chapter 8, but the 13th, so-called “love chapter” continues on with the theme: “If I . . . can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge but do not have love, I am nothing.” (Both quotations are from the NIV translation.)

I haven’t really said anything about the election in this blog, although I have another page (Intentional Conservative) that has been devoted to that subject and will continue now that the election is behind us. I find myself asking, “What is the truly loving response to those with whom you disagree?” This will be a question of supreme importance as we move forward into the uncharted waters of the new administration.

I’ve been very conscious of the desire to be proven right and how prideful that attitude is. On the other hand, I have to ask myself what true love is, what it desires. And the answer is that it must be focused on the ultimate good of the its object.

So . . . no funny stories for today, or extended ramblings. Just a question: How will you work for the ultimate good of the people around you?


Layers of Adversity Overcome

Cover of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, available in several formats through many outlets. Visit the author’s website at

I mentioned this book earlier this summer in a post about John McCain, but I don’t see that I’ve ever featured it in a blog post of its own. If I have, so be it–it’s worth another one. I’m not much of a crier, but I broke down and sobbed at the climax, which isn’t what you’d think.

First a little bit about Laura Hillenbrand, whom I believe I discussed very briefly in my own book. She should have a book all to herself; her article in The New Yorker Magazine, “A Sudden Illness,” tells the story of how she has struggled for years with a disorder apparently brought on by a severe case of food poisoning.

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Thoughts on Forgiveness.

Statue of two people embracing

Periodically I flip back through the sermon notes I’ve accumulated in my Filofax organizer and look for ideas to use in these posts.  (It would be a good thing if I also looked for ideas to use in my own life, which is sort of what I’m doing but not exactly.  As we all need to remind ourselves, listening to good teaching isn’t the same as putting it into effect.)

So I ran across the notes I took on a sermon preached back in June at our church.  There are only a few sentences, but they’re very powerful.  Here’s what I wrote:

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A Good-Hearted Attempt to Reconcile

book cover of mother, daughter, me, showing pile of teacups and tea saucers

Mother Daughter Me:  A Memoir by Katie Hafner, Random House, 2013, available in several formats.

The planned book for this week didn’t come in on time, and as I was looking through my Evernote “blog ideas” notebook I came across a couple of voice recordings about this book that I listened to on Hoopla several weeks ago.  I was reminded of how much I enjoyed it and learned from it, so here it is.  Originally it came to my attention because I was doing some research on how to record audiobooks, and Hafner showed up somewhere describing her experiences in recording this one.  She sounded funny and genuine, and so when the library had her book available I borrowed it and listened to it through many a gardening chore. I am somewhat of a memoir junkie; this is an exceptional one.


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And the book of the week is . . . 

Intentional Happiness Book CoverMine!

Yes, on this Black Friday, I am shamelessly promoting my own book.  You can see the links on the sidebar for purchasing a paperback, Kindle or e-book edition, so if you’re reading this in the daily e-mail be sure to go to my Intentional Living website so that you can follow those links.

I tried to make this a supremely practical book, with lots of illustrations from my own and others’ lives.  (You’ll find out a great deal about my husband and my mother.)  Honestly, folks, when I follow my own advice I’m much happier.

Read moreAnd the book of the week is . . .