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Why Forgive?

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Having seen anger, resentment, and despair destroy far too many lives, the writer of this extraordinary book on forgiving dispenses with glib pronouncements and lets the often untidy experiences of ordinary people speak for themselves. In Why Forgive? the reader will meet men and women who have earned the right to talk about the importance of overcoming hurt and about the ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published May 25th 2014 by Plough Publishing House (first published March 1st 2000)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  291 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Janan Abd elkhalik
This book is amazing , I think that every mad and hatred person should read this book so he can learn how much forgiving is important . Forgiveness gives the heart a chance to rest and gives the mind peace . I quote from this book " in my experience , the strongest motivation for forgiveness is always the sense of having received forgiveness ourselves, or - we do not have that - an awareness that , like everyone else in the human race we are imperfect and have done things we need to be forgiven ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎

I have a deep admiration for victims of violent crimes who found in the hearts a way to forgive the people responsible for hurting them. I don’t know if I would be able to do what they did and I pray to never be in a position to be tested like them have been. To forgive is something I can only aspire to be able to do. 3.5 stars

You’ll find that when you forgive, you’re always a winner. You don’t lose a thing. Because it’s not a sign of weakness to love somebody who hurts you. It’s a sign of stren
Elliot Chalom
I didn't realize that this book would be so grounded in religion, which was a bit of a disappointment. (Not that I have anything against any religion per se, it just wasn't exactly what I was looking for.) Nevertheless, the messages conveyed by the author transcend any particular faith, and therefore there is a lot to take away from "Why Forgive?" Ultimately, the book isn't very deep; there aren't complex discussions of the psychology of remorse or forgiveness. It's filled with stories of (and o ...more
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rating
I got this book many years ago because I was seething with anger albeit such moments came about not as often as it used to be.
I however, just read it and though I do not believe forgiving has anything unique to do with Jesus, I find a number of common sense approaches mentioned in this book as valuable to my own journey.
My only major thought after reading is that pain is not an isolated case and to fully overcome it, forgiveness is indeed a continous and conscious instrument for such a
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a little too much tying into Jesus, especially given that the examples are from people of different religions and that this book is being distributed to public school children at an assembly about ending violence. However, the overall message is a good one, and I like that the stories are from people of all walks of life.
Johann Christoph Arnold
New edition coming soon...
Leslie Sneh
Jan 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is inspiring. It has helped me realize who i am a little more and what I stand for. also, it has helped me forgive. also, forget my i understand the true meaning of life. you have to be happy with the life that you have before you pass. respect others and don't do anything that youll regret. if someone has did you wrong, forgive them but you don't have t ...more
Catherine Stark
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book on my bookshelf, apparently the author gave a speech at my children's school many years ago & i just stumbled upon it...i found it intriguing and inspiring that is why I am recommending,,,, ...more
Maurice Frank
Nov 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I just bought a copy of this unreadably evil book at a church fair, for only one reason. To prevent it being bought by anyone who would agree with it and use it to cause misery locally. Straight after writing this I will take the most healing cathartic satisfaction in destroying the copy I have bought, knowing I am doing moral good.

This is a world where moneyed interests, not logic, decide whose ideas get published. Many Christian books on forgiveness get written for the same reason as religions
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why Forgive is very confrontational. It does not meander around the topic to find middle ground or a tame way to address the subject. Instead, it goes right into the heart of the matter by addressing gang violence, serial murders and abusers, and the worst possible human scenarios while still finding in each situation the grace that some victims had to forgive their abusers or assailants or those who once robbed them of their dignity or humanity. Several sides are addressed, balancing out the vi ...more
John Lucy
A powerful book. Arnold answers the question, "Why Forgive?" with stories, poignant stories of forgiveness, rather than outright answering the question. Indeed, the chapters in which Arnold infuses his own voice, his own thoughts, almost seem to be intrusions in the book.

Although you might think this is a book only meant for people who have experienced some form of tragedy and are battling with the choice to forgive or not, it's really intended, I think, for people who have not experienced such
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short book, but not a quick read. Why Forgive? is jarring at a core level. As I read stories from people who were able to forgive murderers of their children, stories from survivors of massacres and genocides, and stories from victims of crimes, I felt deeply convicted to search myself and find places where I have been unable or unwilling to forgive. Forgiveness is so hard. Arnold's interpretation of each person's story brings another insight into the difficulty and necessity of forgiveness. ...more
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has ever been hurt, held a grudge, or done something to hurt someone else
Recommended to Sarah by: The Bruderhof
This is a very powerful book. I can't decide who I should pass it on to next because I think anyone can apply it to their life and benefit from it. It is a valuable book to read. It does frequently refer to Christianity and Christian teachings, which I don't think is a bad thing at all, but is good to know before reading for those who aren't Christian. I think the message is still universally applicable. ...more
Oct 12, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the idea of this book. I thought it would be interesting to find out why someone would want to forgive if they have been wronged, as I myself am not a forgiving person. I got fed up of this boo as there was more leanings towards the Christian views on forgiveness. I have on intrest in religion, so this book was not for me.
Mark Archibald
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is about truly living in the way of Jesus through forgiveness. It portrays forgiveness as the only possible way to move forward in life. Impossible, heart breaking stories reveal the incredible hope that through forgiveness there is hope of the hurting and hope for the world.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
Have you been hurt? Read this book! To forgive it's hard for many individuals put yourself in His place and find forgiveness. Christ has already forgiven you. A great book to read and find peace. ...more
Natasha Carvalho
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

"If there is anything to be done about circumstances we wish we could change, but can't, it is to accept them gracefully. In doing so we may find that even the greatest obstacles can become an opportunity for growth". (P. 153)

"The power of forgiveness still exists, it can work wonders even when we are sure that we have neither earned nor deserved it. It comes to us as a gift, often when we feel least worthy of receiving it. F
Spenser Garcia
Dec 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not for me, luckily a quick read. Essentially a poorly put together Christian sermon on forgiveness attempt to bind together 100 brief anecdotes of people who forgave. I agree that forgiveness is very important and can be truly life-changing, but this book is not worth your time. Also the author is a former pastor and at gives examples of people forgiving attacks against Christians but ignores Christian colonialism...

Received this book for free after a group associated with the author spoke to t
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The essence of this little book is that forgiveness is a choice, and that it is equally difficult to forgive others as one's self. Yet it is the only way to let go of a past you cannot change. Holding onto anger has no value. "Anger is a destructive emotion. It eats away at whatever peace you have, and in the end it causes nothing but greater pain than you began with." Stories of others who have had to forgive the very worst kinds of wrongs give us hope that we, too, can make that hard but impor ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very religious take on forgiveness told through stories of people he's met. I couldn't find a single example that didn't end the people reconciling and living happily ever after. There's an entire chapter "When Reconciling is Impossible" and apparently that is only when the person is dead.

I don't recommend this book due to the constant references to church/Jesus as well as the limited ways he presented to forgive.
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a series of vignettes that out forgiveness in perspective to the pain and trauma that people go through. It provides a light at the end of the tunnel sharing engrossing stories of significant, life-altering events and the emotions that keep people from moving on.

There’s a silver lining of hope that forgiveness is the way through the frustration. Powerful for sure.
Robert Glover
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many powerful stories in this book. It's truly amazing how people so harmed and so damaged by someone else can forgive those people. I hope I'm never in their position, but I hope if, God forbid I am, I can forgive like they have. ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have my own reasons to forgive and ask forgiveness, but I find it so hard to do. I really appreciate that the author writes plainly and provides copious personal stories as illustration of his points. This book has helped me make the first step toward forgiving and seeking forgiveness.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It made me think of everyone differently!
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I️ will be extracting many of the short and inspirational stories as mentor texts for writing—it’s hard to find good, brief and thematic excerpts!
Not sure if I completely buy into this. More religious references than I would like to see.
Paul Byler
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arnold uses a wide variety of stories to illustrate both the powerful effects of forgiveness and long-lasting consequences of unforgiveness. Easy to read.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
good story
Tracy Webber
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that with it's true stories teaches healing through forgiveness and how to into gaining peace after tragedy. ...more
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping and moving tale about the dynamics of forgiveness and how it ultimately sets us free.
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People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over two million copies of his twelve books in print in more than twenty languages. A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold was a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities, until his death in April 2017.

Arnold’s message was shaped by

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