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Author Colin Tipping brings his method of moving on to Unity of Gainesville

POSTED: April 9, 2011 1:30 a.m.
/For The Times

Colin Tipping will be presenting a workshop on his method of radical forgiveness on Sunday at Unity of Gainesville Church. Tipping has written seven books on spiritual growth.

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Forgiveness is one of the hardest feats many of us can accomplish in our lives. After being hurt by a friend or family member, it sometimes is easier to give up and hold onto the anger. But the damage done to spiritual and emotional growth is even more harmful than the initial hurt.

So why don’t many of us just forgive and forget?

Well, it’s not always that easy and that’s where speaker and former professor Colin Tipping comes in.

Tipping teaches a form of forgiveness, called Radical Forgiveness, that goes a step further.

"It’s a form of forgiveness that goes a lot further than the kind of forgiveness that we’re used to, which I call conventional forgiveness," said Tipping, author of a number of books.

"Look at conventional forgiveness. What it asks us to do is to look at what happened, and then bring some of the best of human qualities to that situation. Bring in some understanding and some mercy and some compassion to the situation to try to understand the other person as much as we can in order to relieve the pain and anguish that we feel within ourselves.

"That’s really what we are doing with forgiveness of any kind, is to relieve the pain that we are holding within ourselves."

Tipping and the Rev. Sydney Magill-Lindquist, the pastor at Unity of Gainesville where Tipping will speak Sunday, have been friends for years. Magill-Lindquist thought that the Easter season would be a perfect time for the congregation to have a chance to renew and forgive.

"One of the reasons we chose to have Colin here this month is because Easter is coming up," Magill-Lindquist said. "Jesus talked often about forgiveness. I asked the question last Sunday here at Unity of Gainesville, ‘Do you think the world is in need of the practice forgiveness?’ It was a resounding ‘yes’ from the group."

She went on to cite Matthew 18:21 as an example of forgiveness in the Bible.

"When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, up to 7 times, (Matthew 18:21) Jesus replied to forgive 70 times 7," she said. "... In other words, to forgive until you have let go of all the anger, frustration and judgment you have around the situation or the person. You don’t do this for simply for the sake of the other person. You do it to clear yourself of the damaging effects that these emotions have upon you."

Tipping agrees that forgiveness is something that we do for ourselves.

"Forgiveness is something that we do for us; it’s a selfish act in that sense, we aren’t doing it for the other person," he said.

The workshop on Sunday will be several hours with a potluck dinner to follow along with time for fellowship.

Tipping is English by birth, but has been living in America since 1984. He has written seven books on spiritual growth and has been based in Atlanta for more than a decade. His main objective Sunday is to lead the workshop participants thorough understanding of the concept of Radical Forgiveness, according to his website.

His workshop will go through techniques and "technology" on how to radically forgive.

"Even though we understand why this person did this thing to us, there may have been a spiritual reason why this happened to us for our souls’ journey," he said.

It’s a crazy idea in one sense. But when people open up to the idea that things happen for a reason — even if we don’t know what that reason is — and take that to it’s logical conclusion, then there isn’t anything to forgive because nothing wrong actually happened."

Tipping said that a theme throughout his speaking engagements is that the hand of God is in everything.

"There’s a reason why things are happening for us, not so much to us," he said.



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