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The Church as a Forgiving Community Response Essay

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Updated: Dec 26th, 2019


The article provides information on the role of forgiveness in the society. It also shows that educationists have proposed a three-tier psycho-educational approach, The Forgiving Communities, which can provide exceptional counseling solutions to the community. The model targets the family, the school, and the church.

It is based on the biblical concept of love (Magnuson and Enright, 2008). The bible teaches about forgiveness in the story of Joseph, who forgave his brothers, (Genesis 50) and in the parable of the prodigal son, whom his father welcomed back home (Luke 15:11-32).

The article also explains that the bible instructs Christ’s followers to forgive each other because they too have benefited from God’s forgiveness (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13).

Currently, social scientists have developed models of how people actually forgive others. The Enright’s and Worthington’s REACH are the most common models. The two models emphasize that empathy plays a key role in enhancing forgiveness. However, they had certain their shortcomings.

Worthington’s models, for example, showed very little gains in forgiveness after interventions lasting between one to two hours. Nevertheless, researchers have developed new models by incorporating different elements from the two models.

Doctors say that low blood pressure, low heart beat, and low skin conductance are among the many health problems associated with forgiveness (Magnunson and Enright, 2008).

The church can become a useful center for enhancing peace and reconciliation by transforming into a forgiving community. Pastors, youth leaders, associate ministers, among others should use their positions to educate the society regarding forgiveness.

When all church stakeholders engage in preaching forgiveness, the culture of maintaining the “status quo” can be changed.

Personal Responses

The article enlightens the community concerning the role of the church in forgiving and educating others. The information is highly relevant for building consensus in the church, as it cites biblical references that support the principles of love, unity, and forgiveness.

It is also important because it provides evidence that in twenty years, several social scientists have researched and incorporated useful inputs into the subject (Magnuson and Enright, 2008).

The involvements of the scientist indicate that the entire society currently appreciates the significance of developing a forgiving community.

The scientists have developed models that provide certain road maps for successful counseling.

The Enright model of forgiveness shows that there are emotional heath benefits of using a road map to gain knowledge on how to forgive others. It states that following the road map provides a chance for quick healing than using the traditional systems. All models present exceptional healing road maps.

They are essential in helping the community to achieve psychological, physical, and relational health healing. Nevertheless, this impact is evidenced only in adults. Researchers have not succeeded in developing models that are appropriate for solving the physiological needs of children.

In addition, they do not know whether forgiveness interventions that are effectual in schools can be effectual in other setting such as clinics, and homes or not. The society ought to invest heavily in the research process to find accurate results.

Carrying out research involving parents, children, and teachers will increase opportunities for finding the appropriate interventions. If this succeeds, it will help children manage stress and become responsible adults.

The article creates a desire to carry out further research on stress management for the benefit of the entire society.


The article backs up the church’s message of love and forgiveness. The church appreciates using interventions and models that are rooted in biblical teachings.

The bible advocates for love and forgiveness as essential social virtues. The modern models developed by social scientists also advocate for the usefulness of the same virtues. The church, therefore, can use the article to solve differences among its members.

For example, the church can use it to help an individual who is aggrieved by a parent who has fought his/her child without reasonable justification. The article presents how a pastor can use the Enright’s model to settle such a matter.

The pastor can use it to guide the aggrieved party to go through the stages of uncovering anger, deciding to forgive, working on forgiveness, and experiencing healing successfully (Magnuson and Enright, 2008).

The pastor or counselor should encourage the aggrieved party to acknowledge the pain and explore the injustice. To achieve this, the church should explain that God forgave humankind sins and that the forgiveness has resulted to enhanced fellowship with God.

When the pastor gives out this information, the aggrieved church member may easily gain hope and accept to uncover anger. The pastor should also explain the health and spiritual benefits of forgiveness. This may help the individual decide to forgive unconditionally.

Deciding to forgive is a process that involves exploring forgiveness and deciding to work toward attaining it (Magnuson and Enright, 2008).

Moreover, the article provides information how the pastor can help the client to develop empathy and compassion for the offended and bear the pain. The pastor can use the information and advice that God loves those who forgive others.


Magnuson, C. M., & Enright, R. D. (2008). The Church as a Forgiving Community: An Initial Model. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 36(2), 114-123.

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1. IvyPanda. "The Church as a Forgiving Community." December 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-church-as-a-forgiving-community/.


IvyPanda. "The Church as a Forgiving Community." December 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-church-as-a-forgiving-community/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Church as a Forgiving Community." December 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-church-as-a-forgiving-community/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Church as a Forgiving Community'. 26 December.

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