Lewis B. Smedes Quotes

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Image, With a little time, and a little more insight, we begin to

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With a little time, and a little more insight, we begin to see both ourselves and our enemies in humbler profiles. We are not really as innocent as we felt when we were first hurt. And we do not usually have a gigantic monster to forgive; we have a weak, needy, and somewhat stupid human being. When you see your enemy and yourself in the weakness and silliness of the humanity you share, you will make the miracle of forgiving a little easier.

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, I worry about fast forgivers. They tend to forgive quickly in order

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I worry about fast forgivers. They tend to forgive quickly in order to avoid their pain. Or they forgive fast in order to get an advantage over the people they forgive. And their instant forgiving only makes things worse... People who have been wronged badly and wounded deeply should give themselves time and space before they forgive... There is a right moment to forgive. We cannot predict it in advance; we can only get ourselves ready for it when it arrives... Don't do it quickly, but don't wait too long.

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, Forgive a wife-slammer if you can. But you don’t have to live

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Forgive a wife-slammer if you can. But you don't have to live with him. Forgive a husband who is abusing your children if you can. But only after you kick him out of the house. And if you can't get him out, get help. It's available. In the meantime, don't let him near the kids, and don't let anyone tell you that if you forgive him it means you have to stay with him. [There's an important difference between forgiving a person and tolerating their bad behavior.]

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, Once we have forgiven, however, we get a new freedom to forget.

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Once we have forgiven, however, we get a new freedom to forget. This time forgetting is a sign of health; it is not a trick to avoid spiritual surgery. We can forget because we have been healed. But even if it is easier to forget after we forgive, we should not make forgetting a test of our forgiving. The test of forgiving lies with healing the lingering pain of the past, not with forgetting the past has ever happened.

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, Some people ask who they are and expect their feelings to tell

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Some people ask who they are and expect their feelings to tell them. But feelings are flickering flames that fade after every fitful stimulus. Some people ask who they are and expect their achievements to tell them. But the things we accomplish always leave a core of character unrevealed. Some people ask who they are and expect visions of their ideal self to tell them. But our visions can only tell us what we want to be, not what we are

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, Can you stop your memory on a dime, put it in reverse,

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Can you stop your memory on a dime, put it in reverse, and spin it in another direction the way you can reverse direction on a tape recorder? We cannot forget on command. So we just have to let the forgetting happen as it will; we shouldn't rush it, and we certainly should not doubt the genuineness of our forgiving if we happen to remember. The really important thing is that we have the power to forgive what we still do remember.

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing

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We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing it with immortality. And we let it assault us every time it comes to mind. It travels with us, sleeps with us, hovers over us while we make love, and broods over us while we die. Our hate does not even have the decency to die when those we hate die-for it is a parasite sucking OUR blood, not theirs. There is only one remedy for it. [forgiveness]

Lewis B. Smedes

Image, When we forgive someone, we do not forget the hurtful act, as

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When we forgive someone, we do not forget the hurtful act, as if forgetting came along with the forgiveness package, the way strings come with a violin. Begin with the basics. If you forget, you will not forgive at all. You can never forgive people for things you have forgotten about. You need to forgive precisely because you have not forgotten what someone did; your memory keeps the pain alive long after the hurt has stopped. Remembering is the storage of pain. It is why you need to be healed in the first place.

Lewis B. Smedes