Dynamics and discretization in the haptic simulation of a pure stiffness can generate energetically active behavior in a theoretically passive element, and thus can lead to unstable behavior. The authors propose a physically-based approach to ensuring passive behavior in the haptic simulation of a stiffness by coupling a rate-independent hysteresis with the pure stiffness. The former is implemented in a simple causal form by incorporating a generalized Maxwell slip description of hysteresis. Experiments were conducted to compare the proposed approach to the simulation of a pure stiffness. Experimental results indicate that the proposed approach demonstrates significantly better stability for given stiffness and sampling rate. Results also demonstrate that the proposed approach enables stable simulation of a significantly larger stiffness for a given sampling rate, and simulation at a significantly lower sampling rate for a given stiffness.