I want to preface this post that I do not think I’m the target audience for this book. With that being said, I loved this book. In comparison to the first book which is in a similar vein, this book feels more complete and polished with a full outlook on how the audience can apply the techniques discussed in the text. If you are looking for a clinical book about forgiveness or a Christian theology text, this is not for you.
Lysa TerKeurst’s “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget” delves into the complex and challenging topic of forgiveness with a compassionate and insightful approach. She combines her personal experiences with a deep understanding of biblical principles to guide readers through the process of forgiving when it seems impossible. The concept of forgiveness is already a difficult one, but when you want to teach it to others from a place where you have done it well for others, it is compelling. As a Christian counselor, I am humbled and inspired by her story and teachings.
Here are a couple of great quotes from the book:
“My ability to heal cannot be conditional on them wanting my forgiveness but only on my willingness to give it.”
“Staying here, blaming them, and forever defining your life by what they did will only increase the pain. Worse, it will keep projecting out onto others. The more our pain consumes us, the more it will control us. And sadly, it’s those who least deserve to be hurt whom our unresolved pain will hurt the most.”
“It is necessary for you not to let pain rewrite your memories. And it’s absolutely necessary not to let pain ruin your future.”
One notable aspect of the author’s approach is her transparency about her struggles with forgiveness. She doesn’t present herself as having all the answers but rather shares her journey, making the book relatable and comforting for those grappling with forgiveness themselves. TerKeurst acknowledges the pain and difficulty of letting go but emphasizes the transformative power of forgiveness for personal healing.
The book is structured in a way that provides practical tools and steps for readers to navigate their forgiveness journey. She doesn’t just talk about the concept of forgiveness, instead, she provides actionable insights and strategies for cultivating a forgiving heart. Her writing is accessible, filled with anecdotes, and supported by relevant scriptures, making it a valuable resource for readers seeking guidance on forgiveness.
Again, I am not her target audience, and I felt it through all of her examples of clients and the lessons she taught. It feels weird labeling this as bad because, for most who read this book, it will be a strength. But it did remind me every time I heard her talk about the female experience, a reminder that this was not meant for me.
As such, I give this book a five out of five stars and recommend it whether you are a person who has some deep forgiveness to give because of hurts, a Christian counselor who wants an extremely compelling perspective, or to read up on the topic. A must-read.