Magazine article The Christian Century

Forgive Our Debts, Not Our Debtors, Polls Says

Magazine article The Christian Century

Forgive Our Debts, Not Our Debtors, Polls Says

Article excerpt

A study on forgiveness has found that almost 75 percent of those surveyed believe they've been forgiven by God for past mistakes and wrong-doing, but only 52 percent say they have forgiven others. The University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research also found that while nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they had forgiven themselves, only 43 percent said they had actively sought forgiveness for harm they have done.

Older people were more likely than younger ones to feel forgiven by God, although respondents of all ages reported feeling high levels of divine forgiveness. That finding "slightly surprised" Loren Toussaint, a psychologist who was the lead author of the report in the October issue of the Journal of Adult Development.

"I think all of us, at one time or another, when we've made the same mistakes over and over again, have felt that we must be a disappointment in God's eyes," he said. "Yet there's a remarkably high level of confidence across the country that God forgives us, compared to a much lower level of forgiveness of oneself and others. …

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