How do you forgive people who won’t admit or aren’t aware that they’ve done anything wrong, or who give resentful and false apologies? How do you forgive people who do not grasp the extent of the damage they caused or the risk they created?

These are the things I’ve learned but not yet mastered:

Wait. Time helps.

Mental discipline helps too: you must train yourself to react constructively to your own injured and vengeful thoughts, which will intrude continually on your mind. Put these thoughts to rest firmly but patiently and without anger, the way a busy parent says no to a clever child. Your higher-functioning mind must act as the parent to the clever child of your lower impulses, and busy itself with the task of healing.

Focus on the positive unanticipated outcomes of what happened. With some gentle self-persuasion, you may even come to interpret what happened as a gift. See Genesis 44-45.

If no satisfying wisdom can be found in Genesis 44-45, read Job 38-42 and understand that God does not owe you an explanation (or anything else).


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