Forgiveness and "debts"

Today will make no sense without the past few days, so get caught up. We’re unpacking an example of how our theory of forgiveness works in practice.

If part of our theory is to view the injured party as a lender, and the wrongdoer as a debtor, we have to ask what the debt is (yesterday’s blog) so we can discover how the debt could be repaid. If we know these things, then we can discover what it looks like not to demand repayment (assuming that we simply cannot do option 1 and treat the offender as if no harm has occurred).

What would it look like to demand repayment?

What I am trying to get at with this question is this: 1. How do we try to make people repay debts that they are not interested in repaying? or 2. How do we try to make people repay debts that we say we have forgiven?

Let me expound a bit.

1. a. Some people do not know that they have caused harm. We can, of course, have a conversation with them and explain what has happened. This is the ideal, but doesn’t always happen. In such cases as this (where no conversation has taken place), what are the things we do to these people to try to make them repay the debt?

b. Sometimes they know they caused harm and don’t care. The end result can be the same, we may change our disposition towards these people to try to ratchet up their feelings of guilt in order to make them behave in a contrite manner, to make them take a repentant attitude, etc.

2. We say we have forgiven, yet we harbor ill will. We maintain feelings of resentment, hatred, and more. And, when we’re triggered, we act on those feelings.

Tomorrow I will give some examples of what it looks like to demand repayment.