Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve

Overview

For all of us who have been wounded by another and struggled to understand and move beyond our feelings of hurt and anger, Lewis Smedes's classic book on forgiveness shows that it is possible to heal our pain and find room in our hearts to forgive. Breaking down the process of healing into four stages and offering stories of real people's experience throughout, this wise book provides hope and solace for all who long for the peace that comes with forgiveness. This classic is now available in an updated paperback ...

See more details below
Paperback
$12.16
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$13.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $7.85   
  • New (13) from $7.85   
  • Used (8) from $8.00   
Sending request ...

Overview

For all of us who have been wounded by another and struggled to understand and move beyond our feelings of hurt and anger, Lewis Smedes's classic book on forgiveness shows that it is possible to heal our pain and find room in our hearts to forgive. Breaking down the process of healing into four stages and offering stories of real people's experience throughout, this wise book provides hope and solace for all who long for the peace that comes with forgiveness. This classic is now available in an updated paperback PLUS edition with a reader's guide and other bonus materials.

Unique and very complete examination of hurts and forgiveness.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061285820
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Series: Plus Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 190,263
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Lewis B. Smedes (1921-2002) was a renowned author, ethicist, and theologian. He was a professor of theology and ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, for twenty-five years. He is the award-winning author of fifteen books, including Forgive and Forget.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

We Hurt

If you live long enough, chances are you'll be hurt by someone you counted on to be your friend. If you're like me, you may let that hurt fester and grow until it stifles your joy. When that happens, you have entered the first stage of forgiving.

I'm talking about the kind of hurts that smart and rankle within us, the kind we cannot digest as if they were only so much fiber in our interpersonal diet. Our wounds may look superficial to others, but we know better; after all, we're the ones who feel them.

I'd like to tell you a little story about a hurt I felt once, to illustrate how something that may look insignificant to outsiders can push you into the crisis of forgiveness.

It's important, to begin with, to say that I come from a long line of village blacksmiths. In fact, our family name, Smedes, is an old Dutch word for smith. From the time people first took on surnames, every male child in our family grew up to earn his living pounding on an anvil, and it was a source of family pride to be a smith worthy of the vocation.

Now on to the story. I graduated, without distinction, from Muskegon Senior High School one June Friday night. The next day I rode a Greyhound bus to Detroit, where I began work in the yards of the Smedes Iron Works, a family-run shop that my Uncle Klass built up out of a smithy he operated in a garage in his early immigrant days. Because I had neither money nor promising credentials for higher education, I was glad to accept Uncle Klass's offer to get my start in the steel business.

I was put to work out in the yard, rolling steel beams into neat stacks, cutting them withan acetylene torch into the sizes that building contractors ordered and painting them with a blend of gasoline and pitch to keep them from rusting too fast. I never did get to use the forge at which ornate forms were pounded and twisted out of red hot steel bars, the only genuine smithing still done at Smedes Iron Works.

To be honest, I was a sorry excuse for either a smith or a steelworker. I was too tall, too thin, too dreamy for any of the jobs that called for the blend of strength and talent it took to work with steel. No luster was added to the name of Smedes during my stint at the Iron Works.

My cousin Hank was different; he was born to the forge. His wrists were powerful, his hands were obedient to his mind, and he could see an artful form of steel in his mind's eye before he even put his hands to the hammer.

Hank sometimes took me along to construction sites, where we would install a gate or a fancy railing that he had crafted at the shop. He taught me how to chisel square holes into a concrete floor and set the gateposts in, pouring molten lead into the space left over. He occasionally took me into his confidence, telling me delicious family secrets about Uncle Klass and dirty jokes such as I had never heard before.

Gradually, Hank made me feel as if I were truly his friend.

But he seemed to have a dual personality. One side of him was friendly and fun; the other side was devious and cruel.

When he and I were alone, he showed me his friendly side. I accepted that part of him; it was certainly the only part that I needed.

But whenever somebody else came along while we were working -- a building inspector, for instance-Hank showed me his mean side. He turned on me, and always within earshot of the man who was watching us.

"Hey, Lew, get your skinny butt, over here and do this job right for a change."

"This jackass they foisted on me as a helper doesn't know the difference between a hammer and a curling iron, but he's the boss's nephew so I have to put up with him."

"Lew, you ain't worth nothin' around here-you just better know that."

This is how Hank would talk to me, and about me, in front of the men we both wanted badly to impress as competent workmen.

He would set me up by getting me to believe that I was his friend; then he would humiliate me. I was a pushover, because at that time I needed a friend more than I needed anything else. So when Hank would show me his friendly side on our way home even, if he had made me feel like a fool that very day -- I would fall for it, only to catch his scorn again the next day.

I hated Hank a lot, I suppose, and for a good while, too. And why shouldn't I have hated him? It hurts to be taken in as a friend and then treated like a stray dog. I knew in my heart that, even though I had set myself up as a sucker for the hurt Hank gave me, I didn't have it coming.

My hurt brought me into the first stage of forgiving-the critical stage at which I had to make a simple decision: Did I want to be healed, or did I want to go on suffering from an unfair hurt lodged in my memory?

We are always, all of us, pushed into this crucial stage when we feel that somebody has hurt us deeply. Will we let our pain hang on to our hearts where it will eat away our joy? Or will we use the miracle of forgiving to heal the hurt we didn't deserve?

Of course, we suffer a lot of superficial pains that nobody really needs to be forgiven for-mere indignities that we simply have to bear with a measure of grace.

We need to sort out our hurts and learn the difference between those that call for the miracle of forgiveness and those that can be borne with a sense of humor. If we lump all our hurts together and prescribe forgiveness for all of them, we turn the art of forgiving into something cheap and commonplace. Like good wine, forgiving must be preserved for the right occasion...

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)