As you may be able to tell by now, I’m not necessarily reviewing your latest NY Times bestsellers. I like books that challenge, that make me think, that change my life–those I find myself referring back to throughout my day. The power of words is transformative, which is why I will mainly be sharing those titles that have affected me the deepest. However, there will be the ocassional light reads, ’cause who doesn’t like a little Twilight every now and then?
Today’s book is Forgive and Forget
by Lewis B. Smedes
, which first came out in 1984. It is a small book, not even 200 pages, but the ideas are powerful. Whether you are suffering hurts large or small, intentional or unintentional, this will revolutionize your thinking and provide so much release.
The subtitle speaks for itself: healing the hurts we don’t deserve. All of our wounds are different, some involve human atrocities, some betrayal of trust, some abandonment but all are unfair. We know that every human deserves to be treated with honor and respect and we all fall short of that, every minute of the day.
In his introduction is this thought: “Forgiveness is God’s invention for coming to terms with a world in which, despite their best intentions, 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.”
I do want to share how the book is set up to know what you’re getting into. It’s divided into three parts:
Part I: The Four Stages of Forgiving
Part II: Forgiving People Who are Hard to Forgive
Part III: How People Forgive
Relief spreads across my face when I reread his table of contents and under Part III, the title of the first chapter is “Slowly”. Isn’t it good to know that there isn’t a little pill can take to instantly cause us to see past the hurt, the pain the heartache and know that the time we need to process it and to heal is ok? No matter how long it takes, the point the author strives to drive home: we must forgive, because, in the end, it’s best for everyone.
A few other titles by Smedes you may want to check out:
- A Pretty Good Person What it Takes to Live with Courage, Gratitude, & Integrity or When Pretty Good Is as Good as You Can Be, Harper, 1990
- Choices: Making Right Decisions in a Complex World
- How Can It Be All Right When Everything Is All Wrong?
- All Things Made New
- Love Within Limits
- Sex for Christians
- Mere Morality: What God Expects From Ordinary People
- A Life of Distinction
- The Art of Forgiving
- Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don’t Deserve
- Keeping Hope Alive