understand at the same time. It helps you find that place in your heart that often hides itself from human view.”
What about the unrepentant offender who continues to hurt you and even throw it in your face?
Jakes and film star Will Smith
“Think of Jesus on the cross, praying ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,’” answers Jakes. “Notice the fact that he’s praying for their forgiveness – for people who are crucifying Him and not asking for forgiveness.
“There are people who are in abusive situations right now and in harm’s way – domestic violence, sexual abuse and what have you. So, I’m not saying to stay in danger. Justice and forgiveness can co-habitate. Forgiveness does not have to compromise justice.”
What if the person refuses to accept your forgiveness?
“Well, that is on them,” answers Jakes. “That’s their responsibility. You don’t have to give an account for somebody else’s attitude or the choices that they make. This is about you.
“Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself. It has less to do with what somebody else did as much as it does with your decision to move on with your life and not be continually victimized by rehearsing that issue or incident over and over again."
He also writes about how he learned that anger is not always negative.
“Anger sets boundaries and limitations. It lets people know when they’ve gone too far. It causes of us to snatch our children out of harm’s way and protect those we love. Anger fuels our adrenaline glands for fight or flight. The Bible says be angry and do not sin, so anger in itself is definitely not a sin."
Jakes and Oprah
“The Bible says that anger rests in the bosom of fools. It is not the presence of anger that is destructive, but when you sleep on it and live with it and rehearse it and allow it to turn into bitterness. It develops a kind of toxicity that is a deterrent to your well-being, your happiness and your health – how you raise your children and how you react to the most simple conflicts.
“Jesus says clearly offenses will come. No matter who you are, the one
guarantee you have about life is that you be offended. The book is about how you deal with those offenses.”
On the set of "Woman Thou Art Loosed"
“It has less to do with the guilty person’s reaction to it. It’s about coming into a place where you say, ‘I’m not going to be victimized twice by allowing this to continue to operate in my life and affect my judgment.'
“Understand that forgiveness is not a white flag of defeat.
“No, it’s a first step.
“But I think what I really wanted to say in this book is to share with people that if you hold on to anger and unforgiveness, you’re not available for what’s next.
“You’re not ready yet for what God has for you.”