When I first saw the Theophostic Ministry tapes I wasn't all that impressed. After seeing Ed Smith in person a couple weeks ago I see more and more where this flavor of prayer and healing will be valuable as I care for others.
Ed Smith has moved away from the parts of his ministry that I was uncomfortable with and has continued to simplify the process without decreasing the impact it has on ones soul.
His language is different at times from mine, but I found this paragraph that is spot on with how I view forgiveness. Too often it is pressured and commanded before one knows how he is hurt. As the year ticked by after I found out about Ann's affair, painful realizations surfaced of actions we took while she was active in her affair. A notable one was buying a house together. That really hurt. If I had just forgiven up front I wouldn't have known what it was I was forgiving her for. That really doesn't make sense to do.
We don't just forgive a person. We forgive a person of specific wounds he or she caused to our heart and soul.
Here is what he had to say about forgiveness in his Basic Seminar Manual. My comments are in italics.
Forgiveness is a necessary part of the total renewing process, but one should not attend to it first. Before true forgiveness can be given, a wounded person must understand clearly what the debt is that he needs to forgive and why he needs to release it. True forgiveness is a consequence of taking an account of the debt that a person is owed and identifying the lie-based thinking that has "joined" the person to the debtor.
The person must find genuine release from his own pain so that he can have compassion toward the one who hurt him. Once a person arrives at this place of peace and compassion, forgiveness and release of debt will be a natural consequence. Genuine renewing is not forgetting the wound, but being able to see it from the perspective of truth. Forgiveness is a natural by-product of people finding genuine release from the lies (in my case; Ann rejects me, I am a failure as a husband, I'll never succeed as a man, I'm unlovable, I'll always be rejected etc.) they believe and seeing their wounders from Jesus' perspective. When their lies are removed and replaced with divine truth, (Ann sinned and chose poorly, I am a good man with faults and have positively impacted others, I am loved by many, I am accepted by God and have many good friends etc.) people are liberated from their old "victim" mentality and freed to find compassion (Ann made choices but also was influenced by many cultural and personal factors in her story. It's not right, but it is understandable why she chose an affair to soothe her pain) and forgiveness for those who harmed them.