"The first defense against the Cycle of Unforgiveness is to establish a habit of daily prayer and scripture study. "

Written by a Minister of Blessing in the Community of Christ, this book serves a dual purpose. First, it provides an understanding of the spiritual quality of forgiveness. Second, it comprises a set of daily exercises related to the process of forgiveness. The author shares an autobiographical vignette of a crucial, difficult, and demanding situation in her own life—the death of a family member. This eventually evoked a call within her to forgive persons who seemed “unforgivable.” She shows how easily the reluctance to forgive can become a cycle of hatred, tantamount to an addiction. The related feelings of victimhood, of cultural or societal superiority, of blame, of refusal to share responsibility, even the basic feeling of “he/she hit me first” all play into what she calls the Cycle of Unforgiveness. She finds comfort and eventually a way out of this cycle through scripture. She shows how God, through Jesus and his disciples, demonstrates forgiveness, teaching us that we are in service to one another.

Shedd writes with clarity and conviction. Her views are compelling and thought-provoking; her examples and suggestions have a familiar ring, indicating that she has “walked the walk” and can understand, even empathize, with those who are reluctant to forgive. She seems to know all the rationalizations, possibly from her personal experience, and has, through her own daily prayer and study, dispelled those excuses and trained herself to look for higher solutions. Her book is very well organized, offering one appendix citing relevant scriptures for her readers and another offering prayers and techniques to facilitate the forgiveness process. Shedd’s book has the power to inspire and could be used as a guide for groups focusing on the importance of forgiveness in one’s spiritual life.

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