The Enigma of Forgiveness

relationships Bible stories, in my opinion, like fairy tales should not be taken too literally. The point of the story stays the same, but the historical situation changes and one must live in the present tense. Let me give you an example. Some time ago I saw a theater show performed by local youth. The story was from the Bible. The wife of an alcoholic is told to love her husband even more and her intense love and forgiveness would cure him.

Today we know that love only helps the ones that are not too deeply addicted. The majority needs professional help and usually a double ultimatum from the wife and from the employer in order to get that help. There is nothing wrong with the Bible story. Back then in biblical times there were no AA groups and no psychiatrists. Trying to solve the situation at home was the only way. Surely love cannot make it worse. Nevertheless, today, we need to put biblical stories into perspective. If there are means of healing an alcoholic, we should use them. If he/she refuses to get help, that is his/her problem.

Love and forgiveness are important, but let’s not forget the love for ourselves. One forgives once, maybe twice, but then one makes a change, because it is simply too energy-consuming to keep forgiving and suffering.

Take care,
Helena Smole, author of Balancing the Beast, a book offering a bright view of schizoaffective disorder ˗ bipolar or manic-depressive type

4 Responses to “ “The Enigma of Forgiveness”

  1. Chris Williams says:

    We must always forgive. Love comes in many forms. I believe you are referring to is tough love. Sometimes God gives us tough love and chastises us. We must use wisdom. Loving and forgiving doesn’t mean we have to tolerate bad behavior. Sometimes we leave a person to a reprobate mind. Ive had to seperate myself from certain people but that does not mean that I don’t love and forgive them.

  2. rayd says:

    the bible says to forgive 70×70–it does not mean that boundaries are not placed – tolerating bad behavior can be a way to not love or forgive –forgiving is for your health-not the forgiven- a person who does not help them selves can still be loved and forgiven-but boundaries must be set for unaccepted behavior–and there are people who can not help themselves and do require intervention and I do not mean sending them to jail so they can and do get worse–denieing treatment and help can also be an act of not loving and not forgiving—I think your statement is partially correct but not totally correct–I like it anyways

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