Clinical Chaplain Ronald D. Ramsey offers a large-format manual to address the complex aspects of human forgiveness, underpinned by his professional expertise and deep Christian faith.
Ramsey has worked as a marriage and family counselor in private practice and is involved in hospital and palliative counseling. He believes the inability to forgive is at the core of most interpersonal conflicts and offers this workbook as a possible antidote.
This Christian-oriented book is designed as an organized journal guiding readers to an understanding of forgiveness and offering instruction on how to take personal action in this arena. Each numbered “Day” includes Ramsey’s overview on a particular topic, quoting many sources, from biblical to modern psychological constructs, followed by one or more exercises addressing that day’s topic. Ramsey states that the process shouldn’t be seen as taking place over 40 consecutive days; forgiveness requires changes in one’s life and attitudes that might take longer.
Day 1 explains the theory behind the book and the benefits of forgiveness. Two exercises accompany the chapter, one offering a “Prayer for God’s Guidance,” the other asking readers to identify their transgressor and their feelings about that person. Day 30 references Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, showing how forgiveness fits into that template. Day 31 regards empathy: the ability to identify even with those who have wronged us. Day 40 offers a chart to help readers discern the earlier exercises they might need to revisit and space for reflection overall.
Ramsey’s book is thorough, almost encyclopedic in its analysis of the issue. It’s thoughtful and well-organized, and designed to increase readers’ self-knowledge as the book unfolds. The exercise sections provide ample writing space, sufficient for serious readers to utilize as they consider their experiences of being wronged and begin to understand their transgressor and inner selves.
A rich combination of practicality and philosophy, Ramsey’s encompassing guide will undoubtedly be welcomed as a comprehensive study tool for Christian individuals and groups.
Also available in hardcover.