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Forgiveness is a two-way street. The Lord’s Prayer says so: “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

A recent survey shows that most Americans have a deep desire to live in a climate of forgiveness. The Survey on Love and Forgiveness in American Society, according to a report from Religion News Service, revealed that 62 percent of American adults said they need more forgiveness in their own lives.

But most (60 percent) were also quick to say that conditions come with extending forgiveness to others. One wonders if we are able to offer forgiveness on the same conditions we desire it for ourselves.

That’s not to suggest that forgiveness is always easy or should come with no attempts at reparation. (Read Simon Weisenthal’s engaging book, The Sunflower, to spark serious thoughts and discussions about “the possibilities and limits of forgiveness.”)

However, even within some limits, human relationships require the capacity to both receive and extend forgiveness. It is a two-way street that enhances our own well being as well as the good of those with whom we share our lives.

There is much freedom in being receivers and givers of grace.

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