Book Review: Total Forgiveness (R.T. Kendall)

Reviewed by Thelma Strauss, Hope Church, Manheim

By R. T. Kendall,  published by Charisma House, a Strang Co.

This book was written to serve as a guide for those who can’t seem to move on after having experienced hurt or abuse. It would advisable for all to read it, as each of us has been hurt at one time or other.  People in every corner of the globe find themselves, from time to time, harboring grudges, feeling bitterness or resentment, wanting to retaliate, and perhaps even breaking relationships. The author explains that a decision needs to be made: either to (1) remain bitter thereby grieving the Holy Spirit within us or (2) to show mercy and love for the person guilty of the offense. It is a common occurrence to hear folks say they can never forgive a person or that they will get back at them. It would seem that taking steps to resolve the problem as described will prove to be one of the most difficult decisions to make and even more difficult to accomplish. But having said that, attitudes and grievances may begin to change as one progresses through the chapters.

Pastor Kendall suggests that total forgiveness requires the end of negative feelings as well as fully restored relationships. Although a worthy thought, many find themselves unable and unwilling to take that first step. Kendall explains to the reader that, even if the offender refuses to be conciliatory, forgiveness must be given and meant in order for their own hurt to vanish. There are instances when the offender doesn’t even realize what has taken place… is unaware of the hurt.  Whenever true forgiveness is offered from the heart of the victim, then, thusly, an unbelievable peace fills the place where the hurt was lodged.

This writer has gone through several incidents where the choice was made to use the tool of total forgiveness in order to continue moving forward. Without total faith and trust in our Lord, it is questionable if this would work at all. However, with prayer and supplication, success was achieved and that peace described by Kendall was indeed greater than words can describe. One can truly understand the beauty of the freedom God has given us.

This book prods the reader to reflect on his past and to realize how often total forgiveness was the solution, but never happened. The reader is both challenged and encouraged to consider practicing total forgiveness.  Kendall feels it is the key to enjoying the peace and serenity which Jesus promised us. The book is formatted for easy reading and the author uses his own experiences to clarify his points. Worthy of your time and contemplation.

R.T. Kendall was the pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, England for 25 years. He has authored more than forty books.

"What is forgiveness?
Forgiveness is to allow
the other person not to be God." - Henri Nouwen